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Until They Are Home
"Until They Are Home" focuses on the search for the remains of U.S. Marines who were killed in the legendary South Pacific World War II Battle of Tarawa, where over 6000 men were killed in 72 hours. Kelsey Grammar narrates. The film is a sequel to "Return to Tarawa: The Leon Cooper Story," which was narrated by Ed Harris. That documentary centered on Cooper, who at 93 is one of the last remaining survivors of the battle. Tarawa was a fortified Japanese compound in the Pacific (currently part of the Republic of Kiribati). During "Return," Cooper and the film crew discovered that the island still held the remains of over 500 US soldiers, lost after being quickly buried in the scorching equatorial sun.
"Until They Are Home," naturally, focuses on what comes next. In 2010, through a Congressional mandate prompted by “Return To Tarawa”, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) team went back to Tarawa to recover the remains of Marines and bring them home. This film documents their efforts, and chronicles the battle through the eyes of Norm Hatch, the combat photographer during the battle. Actor Eddie Albert, who won a Bronze Star in the battle, is remembered.