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Documentary of the Week: Return to Tarawa

June 11th, 2009 by Rebecca Harper Editor

A couple years ago, World War II veteran Leon Cooper came across an Associated Press article highlighting the piles of trash washed up on Red Beach, site of one of the bloodiest battles in modern American war history. According to the AP, “Where hundreds of Marines died, there are now millions of plastic bags, crumpled paper boxes and soiled baby diapers.” As a Navy ensign who shuttled Marines to shore during the intense battle, Cooper was outraged to see this hallowed ground in such a state. And so the 89-year-old began a letter-writing campaign to get the U.S. government to initiate a beach cleanup.

When his efforts yielded no results in over two years, Cooper decided to do something he never would have imagined doing in the 65 years since the battle: He was going to return to Tarawa, the small atoll located in the South Pacific where over 3,000 U.S. Marines were killed or injured. His efforts are covered in this week’s documentary pick, Return to Tarawa. Hulu recently spoke to Cooper and the film’s producer, Steven Barber, and the full interview is now available in the discussion boards for the film. Take a look and share your thoughts with the Hulu audience by writing a review or posting your comments in the discussions area.

Rebecca ()

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