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On the eve of the ten-year anniversary of September 11, guests joined the Library for a screening of the award-winning documentary film Chaplains Under Fire, which investigates the many facets of military chaplaincy in today’s war zones. This event included a commemoration from military chaplains, as well as a discussion with one of the film’s directors, Lee Lawrence, on major themes in the film.
This program supported and was supported by the Library’s exhibit and programming theme for the year, Finding Peace, which explores the qualities and actions of effective peacemaking. In examining peacemaking, the exhibit features content and videos on the work of military chaplains and others who are committed to finding peace within the theater of war and conflict.
Chaplains Under Fire is the work of independent filmmakers Lee Lawrence and Terry Nickelson, who spent three months embedded with United States military units, witnessing and recording firsthand the work of military chaplains and the servicemen and women who fall under their spiritual charge. The film explores a variety of themes including the relationship of spirituality and treating trauma; ministering to followers of different belief systems, sometimes with radically different viewpoints; and the constitutional issues that arise around the separation of church and state in this government-sponsored religious activity.
Lee Lawrence has been a frequent contributor to The Christian Science Monitor news source. Lawrence wrote a multimedia series on military chaplaincy for the Monitor, "Tour of Higher Duty," which won two national religion newswriting awards in 2008.
This is a film that takes one into the heart of the challenges and paradoxes facing the warrior for peace.
Doors opened on Saturday, September 10, at 6 p.m. for a 6:30 screening. Admission was free of charge.