Friday, February 6, 2009

American Legion Hosts Polar Bear Filmmaker

A forthcoming documentary film about Michigan's "Polar Bear" soldiers in World War I will be discussed at a special meeting at Rochester's American Legion Homer Wing Post 172 on Thursday, February 12 at 7 p.m. Filmmaker Pamela Peak will discuss her new documentary, Voices of a Never Ending Dawn, which tells the story of the more than 5,000 Michigan soldiers who were sent to northern Russia to fight the newly-ascended Bolshevik government at the end of World War I. The soldiers, who dubbed themselves "Polar Bears" because of the extreme temperatures they endured, were left to serve on the frozen tundra for eight months after the armistice officially ended the war and most other American troops went home. Among their number was Rochester's own Homer Wing, who was killed in a railroad engine collision on the Archangel-Vologda railroad in May of 1919, just a few weeks before the Polar Bears were called home. In honor of his sacrifice, American Legion Post 172 was named for Homer Wing when it was chartered in 1920.
Voices of a Never Ending Dawn is scheduled to have its public premiere at White Chapel Cemetery in Troy on May 29. In the meantime, you can learn more about the film project by visiting You may also learn more about the film and the program in this recent Oakland Press feature.
The February 12 program at the American Legion Post, 234 Walnut St. in Rochester, is open to the public, but because it is a dinner program, reservations are required. The cost is $8 per person. For reservations or further information, call 248-651-6562 or 248-321-3114.

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