New film tells story of war hero from Lynchburg

Local News

A new film arriving on the big screen next week has a special connection to our area as it tells the story of a war hero from Lynchburg. 

Directed by Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge” tells the story of Desmond Doss, a combat medic in World War II who earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Students and staff at a Campbell County private school named after him, Desmond T. Doss Christian Academy, have told us they are excited to see people across the country learn about the person their school is named after.

According to school administrators, Doss was a member of the Lynchburg Seventh-Day Adventist Church, which is affiliated with the school. 

Due to his faith, Doss strongly adhered to the Ten Commandments, which included, “Thou shall not kill.” But when he got drafted into World War II, he did not want to turn down the opportunity to serve his country.

Instead, Doss served as a combat medic during the war and sometimes braved enemy fire to rescue wounded soldiers on the battlefield.

After he earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Christian school was renamed after him, and according to staff members, he regularly visited students there to share his story.

“It was very awe-inspiring, very humbling, and it just gave you great faith knowing that God can work like that through someone as humble as Desmond,” said Billy Wright, assistant principal at Desmond T. Doss Christian Academy.

Doss’s story still lives on at the school as seventh and eighth grade students read a book in literature class about his life and legacy, Wright said. 

The film is set to be released on November 4. It is rated R, so while many school staff members plan to see the movie once it comes out, parents will have to decide whether or not their children can see it, Wright said.

To celebrate the movie’s release, staff members and older students from the school will be at the movie theater at the River Edge Mall on November 4 from 5 to 9 p.m., Wright said. They will hand out booklets about Desmond Doss to help others learn about his history, he added. 

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