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“Immortal Valor” Author Speaks at VMI for Black History Month

Robert Child, Emmy nominated writer and director

Robert Child, Emmy-nominated writer and director, will speak at Gillis Theater in Marshall Hall Feb. 19, 2024, at 7:45 p.m.—Photo courtesy VMI Communications and Marketing.

VMI welcomes guest speaker Robert Child, Emmy-nominated writer and director and author of the book, “Immortal Valor: The Black Medal of Honor Winners of World War II,” Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, at 7:45 p.m. in Gillis Theater in Marshall Hall.

Child’s presentation is free and open to the public as part of the Institute’s recognition of Black History Month and is co-sponsored by the Center for Leadership and Ethics; the Office of Diversity, Opportunity, and Inclusion; the Dean’s Academic Speakers Program; and the George C. Marshall Foundation.

“Immortal Valor” tells the remarkable story of the seven African American soldiers overlooked for the World War II Medal of Honor. In 1945, Congress awarded the Medal of Honor to 432 recipients, yet not one of the more than one million African Americans who served was among them. In 1997, more than 50 years after the war, President Bill Clinton finally awarded the Medal of Honor to those seven heroes, all but one posthumously.

“We are thrilled to have Mr. Child bring these brave soldiers’ stories to light for us and honor them during Black History Month,” said Lt. Col. Kim Connolly, CLE assistant director for programs and conferences. “This is an important part of our nation’s and military’s history, and there are many lessons we can learn from this.”

Child’s presentation will highlight the courageous actions of these seven men and the challenges they faced, including racial discrimination during World War II.

Child started his career in television in Boston before moving to New York as a freelance technical director. He began producing independent projects, including the film, “Gettysburg, The Boys in Blue and Gray,” and won over 26 writing and directing awards. He collaborated with well-known figures such as Hal Holbrook, Walter Cronkite, and Andy Rooney. He was awarded Honorary Crew Membership aboard the USS Franklin for directing and co-writing the film, “USS Franklin: Honor Restored.”

For information about this event, contact Connolly at connollykv@vmi.edu.