WLRN's hour long original documentary pays tribute to Florida Jews who have served in military campaigns from the Seminole Wars through Afghanistan, and who sometimes made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Premiered TUESDAY, MAY 13th 2014
From the Seminole Wars in the 1830s, through two World Wars, right up to Afghanistan, Jewish Floridians have proudly contributed and served in various campaigns within all branches and ranks of the U.S military. Now the stories of some of these dedicated and honorable individuals along with their families will be featured in the documentary, "A Call to Serve: Florida Jews and the U.S Military."
Interviews will bring to life tales like those of Miami Beach Mayor Mitchell Wolfson, who resigned from office to go fight the Nazis. Wolfson reportedly was part of the decision making process to burn down Hitler's former residence in Munich, Germany and afterward returned home with an engraved setting of the dictator's silverware. Others made their mark in different ways as with famed Miami Beach architect Morris Lapidus who designed the signal search light commonly used by the military.
Then there's the Abramowitz family whose four generations of military service date back to the first World War, or Abraham Myers, West Point graduate and quartermaster for the U.S. Army during the second Seminole War and namesake for the town of Ft. Myers.
Also featured are Fmr. Capt. Ben Magidson honored for his intelligence work in Afghanistan, and Col. Lettie Bien (Ret.) a Bronze Star recipient for her role in Iraq in 2004.
During the Civil War we'll hear how Jews fought and died on both sides and how the first and last Florida Jews to die in the conflict were from the same family. This is also the era when the first Jewish Commodore of the U.S. Navy, Uriah P. Levy rose to prominence.
Jewish pilots shot down in action, POWs, soldiers, medics and chaplains will also tell their stories along with historians and family members of the men and women who helped shape our past and continue to help shape our future.
Supported by footage, numerous photos and artifacts that include weapons and letters, "A Call to Serve: Florida Jews and the U.S Military," will give viewers both a Jewish and universal perspective on what it is like to sometimes make the ultimate sacrifice for a country that has provided so much opportunity for so many.