Donald L. Miller, MacCracken Professor of History, is working with internationally renowned sculptor Greg Wyatt on a World War II memorial sculpture and battle exhibit at Arlington National Cemetery’s visitor’s center. Miller has written the scripts for the 20 short documentary films that make up the exhibit.
The bronze statue, Price of Freedom, and exhibit will be unveiled to a national audience during the Memorial Day ceremonies May 30-31 in Washington, D.C. The weekend’s events will be covered by PBS. The cemetery estimates that some 11 million people with visit the sculpture and exhibit between Memorial Day and Veterans’ Day.
The Price of Freedom will tell the story of U.S. military service and sacrifice in World War II, representing seven symbolic WW II heroes and an angel holding the figure of a dying unknown serviceman. It will be very similar to its sister sculpture in the cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater in honor of the soldier from World War II laid to rest at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The sculpture will be in-the-round with kiosks showing the 20 films dedicated to different WWII battles such as D-Day, Iwo Jima, and the Battle of the Bulge.
* See photos of the sculpture in progress.
Miller’s son, Greg at Lou Reda Productions in Easton, provided all the documentary footage for the videos, which will be narrated by actor Stacey Keach. Sarah Nusbaum ’13 (South Salem, N.Y.) and Adam Rabin ’13 (Scarsdale, N.Y.) also worked on the film project through the history department’s internship program. Miller and Wyatt may also work on a souvenir book focusing on the Price of Freedom exhibit.
Miller is an award-winning author and expert on WWII. Three of his eight books are on the war: Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany (2006); D-Days in the Pacific (2005), the story of the American re-conquest of the Pacific from Imperial Japan; and The Story of World War II (2001), all published by Simon & Schuster.
Miller was a historical consultant for The Pacific, a 10-hour miniseries on World War II in the Pacific, which debuted on HBO in March. He is serving as historical consultant, writer, and on-camera historian for the documentary film material and web site. The film was produced by Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg, and Gary Goetzman, the creative team behind the Emmy-winning 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.
Miller was also writer and chief historical consultant for WWII in HD, a 10-hour series that aired on the History Channel in November 2009, and was the network’s most watched program of the fall season. Narrated by Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise, the series was inspired by The Story of World War II.
He also appeared as an on-camera expert on PBS’ American Experience program The Bombing of Germany. The one-hour documentary premiered in February and was based in part on Masters of the Air. Miller served as the production’s principal consultant.