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Alumna’s Documentary Airs on Memorial Day

“Thank You, Eddie Hart,” a documentary by Meredith College alumna Brenda Hughes, will air on UNC-TV this Memorial Day. The film has aired annually on UNC-TV since its debut on Veteran’s Day in 2003.
Hughes, a 1970 graduate of Meredith, explained the origins of the film in a spring 2004 Meredith Magazine profile.

In 2001, Hughes met a Dutch woman, the mother of a friend, who survived the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. To honor the U.S. soldiers who liberated the country, Dutch citizens “adopted” the servicemen buried in a large American military cemetery in the Netherlands, Hughes said.

The woman adopted a North Carolina native’s grave. The woman knew nothing about Eddie Hart, a farmer from rural LaGrange, N.C., but she visited his grave several times each year for 11 years. She always adorned his burial place with fresh flowers. Before the woman immigrated to the United States, she recruited her brother to take her place. To this day, a member of the woman’s family serves as the caretaker for Hart’s grave.

“The story is about a 57-year, and counting, commitment to this soldier who was a perfect stranger but has become a member of their family because of what he represents,” Hughes said.

The film airs on UNC-TV on Monday, May 31 at 9 p.m., and will air on other PBS stations across the country. Check local listings for more information.

Visit for more information on the film.

Posted May 28, 2010.

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