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More ‘War’ skirmishes

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An American soldier, Saipan, 1944 Photo: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Maggie Rivas and Gus Chavez, founders of the Defend the Honor campaign, are still leading the charge for respect.

Their latest skirmish with Ken Burns, producer of the 15-hour documentary The War, finds those at DH who fought to get WWII Latino veteranos included in the historical series confronting Burns’ “arrogant attitude.”

The documentary is scheduled to be broadcast on PBS this month. It initially excluded any mention of the heroic Latino war effort.

After public pressure from Defend the Honor and other groups, Burns agreed to include Latinos and hired Hector Galán, a Latino film producer. The new material adds up to a total of 28 minutes.

The boxed DVD set was presented to the Television Critics Association on July 18 – without the new material. The TV critics had to review the series without the Latino segments, says Rivas and company.

She adds that Burns made some insensitive comments as well. The filmmaker says he sees the controversy as a “political issue” that he was able to “rise above.” Sounds like Burns still doesn’t get it.

Defend the Honor urges supporters of Latino veteranos to post comments on Burns’ attitude to send the series’ sponsors at www.defendthehonor.org.

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