A couple of weeks ago we shared Christian Taylor’s visit to The Movie Proposal Podcast in the spring of 2018. This week we would like to share how that podcast changed everything for our crew member Kyler Redding.

In the spring of 2018, I got hooked on a podcast called The Movie Proposal in which they talk about current movies. At the time, I was a film student at Dallas Baptist University, so listening to a podcast about movies was very enjoyable for me. The podcast had one episode entitled “The Girl Who Wore Freedom” but since I had never heard of it, I avoided listening to it. I wanted to hear about Black Panther or Star Wars. As long as possible, I skipped over it. However, I ran out of other things to listen to, so sighing in frustration, I selected The Girl Who Wore Freedom episode.

This episode deviated from the podcast’s regular format because the host had brought a guest that day, Christian Taylor. As I listened to this woman talk about the movie she was producing, I began to get more and more excited.

She kept talking about these people in France that had been alive on D-Day in 1944. Christian shared how the French loved American veterans because of what they did on D-Day. I learned that the French in Normandy held annual ceremonies on the anniversary of D-Day to commemorate the sacrifice made by the Americans. The French people believe these remembrances are so important that they passed this tradition onto their children and then their children. They want to remember always the importance of freedom and the sacrifices it took for the Americans to liberate the French.

Finally, Christian shared the reason why this film was important for Americans. She told a story of a current American soldier who had gone to these D-Day ceremonies and saw firsthand the love and respect of the French civilians. After returning home, he got on a flight to go back to America and was seated next to a teenage girl. The teen questioned him about what he had been doing and why he was in uniform. The soldier replied that he was at the D-Day ceremonies. The young girl then came back with the question, “Well, what is D-Day?”

When I heard this part of the story, my stomach dropped. What is D-Day? The fact that this girl didn’t know our history made me very sad. It blew my mind that a high school student didn’t know what D-Day was. It made me upset at America’s schools. I couldn’t make sense of how this girl didn’t know her history. Even though I didn’t know many details, I at least knew that D-Day was some kind of invasion in WWII. Then thinking back, I became frustrated because, in high school, that was all I had learned.

I realized that the story being told in The Girl Who Wore Freedom will help fix this problem and I needed to be involved in this project someway, somehow. I could donate to the project, but I wanted more. I wanted to participate in the production itself.

So, I called Christian.

I was in luck; Christian still needed help and offered me a spot on her team. Since joining, I have been a part of many meetings planning our social media strategy, along with editing part of the film. I have met many amazing people who love history and have great respect for veterans. I have also spent time with some of the veterans from the film! I have learned that Veterans have amazing stories that need to be told and, thankfully, we get the chance to tell those stories.

While it has been a wonderful journey working on this film, I try always to remember the initial reason I began working on this project. In America, so many people, especially the younger generations, do not know their history.

Soon after joining the team, I had the opportunity to go back to my high school as a guest speaker, and to talk to an Audio/Video Production class about the film. We mainly talked about the production of the film, but we also talked about the content of the film. Soon I will be visiting my college to speak with the History Society on campus about the film and the history behind it. These groups that I have spoken to are not large. They are people who need to know their history-making these wonderful and important opportunities to be like the French and educate.

There is a quote attributed to Mark Twain that goes, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.”

If we fail to teach the next generation, my generation, the importance of D-Day, and about all the lives that were given for someone else’s freedom that day. We may find our history “rhyming” once again along with the dictatorial, fascist leaders of the 1940s.

This conviction is why I am so passionate about this movie and why it must be finished. We have a responsibility as Americans to be more than people who know about history. We have a responsibility to teach the next generation about the people who came before and gave their lives for us.

Our movie is so close to being finished; we can’t let it fail now. You, like me, can still be a part of our effort to teach the next generation. You can be a part of helping people remember our history.

We must never forget our history, for the fate of the world hangs in the balance.

Consider volunteering (us at info@normandystories.com) or donating to The Girl Who Wore Freedom today!

 

Kyler Redding

New Media Content Creator

Kyler is a recent graduate from Dallas Baptist University, with a degree in Broadcast and Digital Media with a minor in History. He has a passion for good stories and video editing. He also loves American history, especially little known stories from important times in American history. He desires to teach younger generations about history and inspire them to love it as well through the medium of video. Kyler is also recently engaged to the love of his life, Liz Grace, and can’t wait for stories and adventures that life together will bring.