On February, 25 I watched an entire audience be moved to tears by the story of Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge at the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut. The true story of a pacifist soldier who refuses to kill others while risking his own life touched many people. The audience was moved to applause as the credits rolled honoring this brave man.
Yet, before the movie started there was much preparation to be made. The popcorn was being popped vigorously while the ushers got into place preparing to open the doors for the matinee. When the doors opened patrons had streamed in steadily taking their seats in the house; several of them stopped by for a box of popcorn and something to drink while others looked at photographs taken by Tom Bombria.
But, many of them stopped by to admire the “Keep the Lights on at The Garde” display. The fundraiser started by the people of New London Main Street caught the attention of many who were interested in wanting to know why. With the answer being the electric bill is too high to keep the marquee lights on, several people started to donate. The marquee lights at The Garde are a welcoming sign into New London. Sadly, they have been going dark, leaving the welcoming signal vacant.
After many admires donated to the cause the lights flickered signaling the time for the movie to start. Once thanking Atlantic Broadband and the other sponsors for the show, there was an announcement that there would be a social afterward with coffee and cookies. With the lights dimming the screen started to show advertisements for Fences and the Oscar Nominated Short Films leading to the start of the movie.
Once the movie started the audience was glued to the screen. With the story of Desmond Doss unfolding in front of them there were cheers, tears, and shock of the battle scenes. When the movie had finished the audience burst into applause with the inspiring story touching everyone. While people were filing out into the mezzanine for the social afterwards, many were crying. There was talk about how great the movie was with the point of focus being on a brave man who stayed behind after a retreat was ordered only to save the lives of seventy five men. The movie Hacksaw Ridge at the Garde Arts Center inspired many people and will continue to inspire those who watch this masterpiece.