The Vietnam War Memorial Dedication
to the Memory of Robert P. Gandil, Thomas J. Holden & Michael J. Macarell
was held at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 27, 2002 at Veterans Memorial Park
[Memorial Dedication Service
] [Photos Group 2]
[Proclamation] [Biography]
[Acknowledgments][Record Story Oct. 24, 2003]


About the film
Recovering Satellites


Invitation

September 12, 2003

From: Chad Jenkins and Mike Kane
Producers of the documentary film Recovering Satellites

Hello-

Mike and I are pleased to welcome you to the screening of Recovering Satellites, a documentary film that we have been working on for nearly a year. Enclosed you will find an invitation to a private screening of the film, a synopsis of the project, a brief biography about Mike and myself, as well as directions to the screening.

We’d like to apologize for this letter being a broad and general cover letter. There were many people who were involved with this film, either as an interview subject, a production assistant, a researcher, or someone who lent their support in one capacity or another. While we wanted to personalize each and every cover letter, time constraints proved to make that impossible. There are approximately 300 invitations being sent out and as I write this letter to you, we are currently finishing the film. So, to all of you who have helped us with this film project, we thank you for your time and assistance.

When we began this project last October 27th by shooting the memorial service in Hasbrouck Heights, NJ for Thomas Holden, Michael Macarell, and Robert Gandil, we had no idea that we would travel the country interviewing many extraordinary people. The stories that supplemented each interview enriched not only both of our lives, but have made, in our opinion, for a very compelling film. Yes, the memorial and the events that lead to the passing of these three men do add an element of sadness to the film, but there are also quite a few funny moments as well. We’d like to stress that this is not a film for children of a young age. The subject matter is quite mature and several scenes contain strong language.

This is an open invitation, meaning that you are free to bring whomever you wish. There is a "kindly R.S.V.P." request at the bottom of the invitation. This is to help the VFW post anticipate the number of guests. However, it is not a requirement for attending the screening to call beforehand.

The master of ceremonies will be Dan Vecchio, the man who arranged the memorial last October. Following the screening of the film, there will be a question and answer session with Mike and myself.

We thank you receiving this invitation and hope that you will attend.

Sincerely,

Chad Jenkins
Mike Kane

 
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About the Film: Recovering Satellites

Synopsis

In 1966, during the course of three months, commencing in October and ending in December, three natives to the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey: Thomas James Holden, Michael Joseph Macarell, and Robert Gandil; lost their lives while serving their country during the Vietnam War. On October 27, 2002, some thirty-six years later, the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights gathered to dedicate a memorial to the three men, and pay tribute to those heroes of war.

This dedication did much more than honor these three men. It unintentionally reunited U.S. Servicemen who had not seen each other since their tours in the Vietnam War. This documentary examines the events that led up to this reunion and studies how the selfless tragedy of a man’s death can continue to affect the lives all those who knew him.

 Through interviews with relatives, friends, and the men who served with them, this documentary paints the picture of three heroes and the lives they touched both before and during the war. Soldiers who were there the day these men died share candid, first-hand accounts with sobering frankness. Poignant moments of the Hasbrouck Heights memorial and observational material capture the reunion and segue the two storylines seamlessly. Personal effects such as pictures, letters, and publications accompany stock film footage to create a visual passage back into that era of American history.

While our film commemorates the service and the sacrifice these men made, one of the underlying texts is to dispel some of the conventional and unfortunate stereotypes that envelop Vietnam Vets. This film illustrates the surviving servicemen as decent, hard working men, who continue to raise families, work within the communities in which they live, and ultimately reunite in Hasbrouck Heights to pay their respect to a fallen soldier and a long lost friend. The film takes no political stand for or against the Vietnam War.

At its core, this film is devoted to the bond that these veterans formed while entrusting one another to protect their lives and why they are compelled to continually honor those who died in the war.


About the Filmmakers

Chad Jenkins will graduate with honors from the University of the Arts in December 2003. His first film, Sideman, paid tribute to jazz legend, Mickey Roker, and was acquired by PBS station WYBE Channel 35 for broadcast as part of the Philadelphia Stories 3 series. Chad also co-produced the documentary, Priority 3, that studies issues of violence in the Philadelphia public schools. That film is currently being considered for broadcast on PBS. Last fall, Jenkins directed the play Topdog/Underdog for the Black Box Theater in Philadelphia. A long time musician, he became interested in film while at college. This is his first feature-length documentary.

Mike Kane graduated with honors from the University of the Arts in June 2002. He recently opened 11th floor productions , a production house serving clients in the Washington D.C. area, Philadelphia, New Jersey and New York. Mike’s last film, Prisoners, an awareness-raising documentary for the disabled patrons of Philadelphia, won critical acclaim last year. After debuting at the Connelly Theatre, the film was distributed throughout the Philadelphia County Government, as well as the Pennsylvania State Government. There, it continues to raise funding for the Adaptive Modifications Program, a non-profit organization committed to aiding the impoverished disabled community. This is his first feature-length documentary film.
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Color copies are available at Minuteman Press (Boulevard & Franklin).