McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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June 6, 2014

‘Longest Day’

Special feature set this weekend to remember a D-Day invasion

ALDERSON — Darrin Weddle didn’t hesitate when asked if he could make a huge poster for use as a backdrop during a special showing of the movie “The Longest Day.”

The blockbuster 1962 film about the Normandy Invasion is set to be shown free of charge at the Cinema  69 Theatre Saturday morning to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Jeff Wolf, who organized the event, hoped to have the poster set up for use as a backdrop during the special Saturday showing. Wolf figured some of those attending might want to take photos while using the poster, which is around six feet high and four feet wide, as a backdrop.

The event is set to start at 9:45 a.m. at the theater, at 1116 S. George Nigh Expressway, with a  special presentation by retired U.S. Army Major Art Levine, who participated in the D-Day invasion. Plans call for the movie to follow.

Weddle, giving a nod to all World War II veterans, felt glad to help with the project by making the poster. He’s among those who hopes a number of younger people join their parents and grandparents for the showing.

“I think it’s an important part of our history for the younger generation to never forget, to remember D-Day,” he said.

Wolf said members of the Tulsa Living History group have accepted an invitation to attend. Members typically dress in World War II era uniforms and they hope to bring along a “pin-up girl,” according to Wolf.

Considered one of the best and most accurate movies about World War II, “The Longest Day” begins with the planning phases of the invasion and continues through to the main battle.

The black and white 1962 movie features an all-star cast including John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Henry Fonda, Sean Connery and Richard Burton, among others —offering what is a rare opportunity these days to see some of the Hollywood’s greatest stars from the era on the big screen.

Wolf said he wanted to show “The Longest Day” because it encompasses all aspects of the invasion.

Although the  movie is free, Wolf said donations will be accepted, with proceeds to be divided between the Oklahoma 45th Infantry Division Museum and the World War II Airborne Demonstration Team.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

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