Fencing The Forgotten

GENRE: Drama.

STATUS: Script written. Awaiting pre-production. Pending financing being secured, production is scheduled to commence during or around the summer of 2024.

LOGLINE: An alcoholic videographer in Hawaii is asked to film Korean War veterans providing their oral histories, and as he works on the project, he finds his life is finally turning around.

COMPANY NOTES: This production is scheduled to be a part of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Hawaii Korean and Vietnam War Memorials, which is July 24th, 2024. YBS anticipates support for this project from the Korean War Foundation, Inc., with funding specifically coming through a grant-in-aid application from the Hawaii state legislature, as well as through private funding.

Project Development

The essential start for Yellow Brick Studio being contacted to produce Fencing The Forgotten begins with Eric Nemoto’s play, Building Permit, which had a very successful run (11 performances, all of which were sold out) at TAG – The Actors’ Group from September 15th, 2023, and October 1st, 2023. Attending the third performance, September 17th, was attorney, real estate developer and business developer, Rodney Sato (see inset photo), who was in the audience on an invite from a friend. Rodney watched and enjoyed the play, and upon reading of Eric’s background in the play program, told a business associate of his, that they should make an overture to Eric with respect to a creative project that they were interested in pursuing.

See Below – The Trailer For Building Permit, The Play That Introduced Eric Nemoto To Rodney Sato


After Building Permit closed, Rodney subsequently contacted Eric via email on October 17th, 2024, and introduced himself, and that he and his business associate, Charlie Compuesto (see inset photo), from San Diego, CA, wanted to discuss a prospective television series conceptualized by Charlie, Aunty’z, which centered around a native Hawaiian family as they deal with life in the islands, and whether Eric might be interested in working with them. After Eric responded he would be willing to meet, a subsequent Zoom meeting involving the trio ensued on October 20th, 2024. Through their combined discussions, Eric eventually agreed to be associated with the project in two areas. One, as a consultant for how to distribute the series. Eric, through years of researching how to distribute YBS’ films, had established accounts with Filmhub (an online distribution company that had connections to over 100 online movie platforms), created YBS’ own Amazon Prime Video Direct account (for directly distributing to Amazon), founded and developed his own public Roku TV channel, All Hawaii TV, and also created YBS’ own online movie distribution platform, Serenergy. So given these immediate means of distribution, Eric offered that, once the series was completed, he could assist in distributing Aunty’z through these distribution avenues. Second, since writing was his first and foremost love, for which he had developed, over the years, into a prolific screenwriter, that he could assist in the writing of these episodes. Hence, with this understanding, Eric agreed to be part of the project. But also during this meeting, as well as through additional discussions which evolved immediately thereafter, Rodney brought up another project that would subsequently become their primary focus.

The Korean War Memorial

Rodney talked about his association with a local Korean War Veterans group who were interested in making improvements to a memorial dedicated to the Hawaii men who died in both the Korean  and Vietnam Wars. Located near to the State Capitol Building at 415 South Beretania Street, Honolulu, HI 96813, but largely accessible via Richards Street, the Korean & Vietnam War Memorials was dedicated on July 24, 1994. The following description about the site is paraphrased from the memorial’s website.

The Korean & Vietnam War Memorials consists of two winding walls of terraced granite pedestals – one for each war – inscribed with the names of those killed or missing in action. Each pedestal bears the engraved names of the Hawai‘i men who died in the two conflicts. By allowing visitors to reach out and touch individual pedestals, the memorial allows visitors to make a personal connection with those who fought and died, enabling a connection that both heals and enlightens. The memorials wind through the years, revealing more names around each bend and marking time in the toll of human lives. The sunken courtyard represents the descent into the anguish of war. The ascending pedestals, consisting of individual service men marching five abreast, from a moss rock wall, provide a vehicle for rising up and out from despair into a future secured by the sacrifices of those whose names are inscribed on them.

The Vietnam & Korean War Memorials

Rodney explained that over the course of near 30 years, the once immaculate and beautiful memorial had come under disrepair. Specifically, the area had become inhabited by the homeless at night, graffiti could be observed on the surrounding areas, and many of the roots of the trees planted as part of the memorial had begun to uplift the concrete, causing potential hazardous walking along the adjoining sidewalk. Hence, he was working with members of the Korean veterans group to raise funds so that the memorial could be renovated in time for its 30-year anniversary of the memorial’s original dedication, July 24th, 2024. Rodney arranged a subsequent luncheon meeting for Eric to meet Korean War veteran, Robert “Bob” Imose, a long-time colleague who he had known since 1978. They had worked together at the Hawaii State Housing Authority and the Hawaii Housing Finance & Development Corporation, as well as other community, business, government and political campaign projects. Together, they shared many stories of the projects that they had worked on together. Through the tenor of their conversations, it was clear to Eric that here were two men with a total commitment towards improving the memorial, and in particular, to put a fence around it in order to better preserve its honored ground. The word, “forgotten” – as in how the Korean War was known as the forgotten war, how the names of the men enshrined on the memorial were also, in a way, henceforth forgotten as well – would come up over and over again, and thus, by the end of their meeting, Eric decided to work with them. In fact, as early as the end of this meeting, the words of “forgotten” and (the need for) “fencing” would resonate with Eric, and somehow he knew, for whatever creative project would ensue thereafter, that these words would serve to play a part in representing it. Accordingly, Eric decided early on that the eventual working title of what project would evolve would be, “Fencing The Forgotten.”

Going forward, Rodney asked Eric if Yellow Brick Studio could be responsible for four projects: 1) film the oral histories of the surviving Hawaii Korean War veterans which, at the time, consisted of 52 men, mostly in their 90’s; 2) film the re-dedication ceremonies which would be, again, held on the 30th year anniversary, July 24th, 2024; 3) film the celebration dinner which would be held at night in a large banquet room of a local hotel; and 4) film some kind of short film or documentary about both the Korean War and the (as many of) 52 surviving Hawaii Korean War veterans. In relation to this, Rodney asked Eric to provide a budget for each of these projects in order that he and Bob could begin to seek avenues of funding. Eric agreed to do this, but with respect to the fourth project, given his active experience in writing and producing feature length movies, Eric suggested that he could produce a full feature length movie in place of either a short film or documentary. Further, that this movie could star Charlie in the lead role. In a subsequent Zoom meeting, Rodney and Charlie professed a liking to this idea and after a little more discussion, it was agreed that a movie would be produced to bring to light both the experiences of the Hawaii war veterans and the forgotten war in general. Eric suggested that the movie could actually be a bit of art imitating life, in that Charlie could portray a down and out videographer who is called upon to film the oral histories that would be filmed as it is, and that through this experience he begins to rebuild his life. It was felt that by producing a dramatic, but also entertaining, movie, it would be a great way of bringing attention to the forgotten war and to the men who fought in it. Based on their discussion, then, the project was launched. Eric provided budgets for all four projects, and Rodney and Bob began having meetings with his contacts to begin recruiting people who would support and fund the projects. Rodney completed a grant-in-aid application with the Hawaii State Legislature in the hopes of gaining state funding, and contracted a website design company to create a website for the Korean War Foundation. Bob brought in his son-in-law, Brig. General Stephen Logan, who was the deputy adjutant general of the State Department of Defense, to help with the project, and also got his whole family involved in a December, 2023 Christmas party where he was elected president of the Korean War Veterans Association, Inc. Hawaii Chapter #1. This was a great decision, since Bob, a 92-year-old man with the forceful passion to lead everyone in “Fencing the Forgotten,” was certainly the leader that the projects needed. On the creative side, Eric met with Charlie via Zoom to brainstorm ideas for the feature film and began writing on January 2nd 2024. By March 31st, 2024 a script had been written and great progress had been made on all the other facets that were being put in place, with the goal (pending funding) of production ensuing in July 2024.

The Korean War Foundation, Inc. Website (kwfi.us)

Script Treatment

We open with a magnificent shot of a Hawaiian full moon. A beat passes and we then fly through the nighttime sky until we hover over a house that is in turmoil. A woman leaves out of the front door, yelling back at her husband that she has had it, and beckoning her daughter to come with her. A man follows, yell asking them not to leave. But the woman is adamant. She tells her daughter to get in the car, and when she is in and secured, the car takes off.

It is the next morning and lying on the floor after a night of binge drinking is our hero, John Lee, the husband of the woman who left, and father to his daughter who left with her mother. John, currently an on again – off again videographer, is also an Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD, and an alcoholic, and before last night, he had been sober for 42 days. John finally awakens upon the entry of his daughter, Kayla Lee, who has returned to pick up her clothes as well as her mother’s.

In filling up two suitcases full of clothes, Kayla sees that John polished off an entire bottle of vodka as well as a six pack of Heineken. Over the years, Kayla and John have grown apart. This is because while John has had to deal with his post-war issues, Kayla has grown up. Before Kayla leaves this morning, she and her father will share an uneventful breakfast of Cheerios where cold is the temperature between them. As John watches his daughter drive off, he notices that it is soon time to leave for his AA meeting.

At the end of the AA meeting, John stands in line waiting to shake the hand of Jonas Mahorn, the leader of the AA group. In front of him is Victor Stubbins, a new member of the group, who receives encouragement from Jonas. When John gets to Jonas, he’s told to stay for a meeting. Jonas, a man who has experienced life’s sewers, knows John has gotten off the wagon, and admonishes him that he is to not return to the group until he is sober for 30 days.

Back home, John leaves an apologetic message to his wife, Cynthia Lee, on his cell. Later he pulls out all his stashed liquor from the cabinets, empties them into the kitchen sink, and then takes them outside to throw the bottles away into the trash bin. He then gets a call on his cell phone. He looks at the face of his phone and contemplates.

Later, John has a discussion with Donovan Davenport, his brother-in-law and fellow videographer, who has brought sandwiches and multiple cups of coffee from 7-11, a sign that he has obviously talked with his sister. Donovan tells John that since his work schedule is full that he wants him to take a job offer. It is from a man, Tommy Takata, who wants to have activities related to the re-dedication of the Vietnam and Korean War Memorials – scheduled for July 24th, 2024, the 30th anniversary of the memorial’s completion – filmed, which includes filming the oral histories of as much as 52 surviving Hawaii veterans of the Korean War. John, thinking that Donovan is offering him a bone in recognition of him being currently down and out, can’t accept it. What pride he still maintains won’t let him. He gets up and goes to his bedroom, leaving Donovan in a quandary.

At work, Cynthia, the head of a federal grant program at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, receives a visit from one of her staff members and a very close friend, Karen Morgan. They talk about Cynthia’s search for an apartment, about John growing up as an Asian kid in Detroit and then choosing to come to the university to get far away from Detroit and surf where he meets her, and her difficulty over the years dealing with John and his PTSD actions. She explains that the event that finally led her to leave was John going ballistic when she asked him about military MREs (Meals Ready-to-Eat) during combat, and wanting to get him some water. Cynthia explains that John decided to enlist after the twin towers came down on 9-11, and that through the years she sacrificed a lot while taking care of Kayla. She’s done with him.

At night, John experiences another nightmare from the war. The ringing of his cell phone wakes him and he rises in a cold sweat. It is Tommy, who begins talking. John, perturbed and thinking that it is in the early morning hours, responds with irritation, asking Tommy why he is calling him in the middle of the night. But realizing that it is only 6:42 p.m., John is forced to listen to Tommy. While initially trying to push him away, John finally agrees to Tommy’s invitation to go to dinner to talk about a project related to the Korean War Memorial. John tells Tommy that he doesn’t have a way to the restaurant since he can’t drive due to a DUI that he had. So later, Tommy picks John up and they drive off.

During dinner, John polishes off a 16 ounce steak before Tommy gets done with half of his chowder. Sassy waitress Connie Consuelo jokingly makes an observation and leaves to get some dessert. Tommy tells John that he thought he would be perfect for this job dealing with the Korean War Memorial, since he assumed that he was Korean. John explains that he’s actually Filipino, having been adopted as a baby by a Korean couple who were emigrating to the USA, where his father got a job working on the assembly line for Chrysler. While John can certainly eat, upon Tommy’s asking, he volunteers that he doesn’t cook, hardly ever, saying that it’s like being in a parade, not everyone can be in it, some people have to stay on the sidelines and applaud. So similarly, he can’t cook, but he can certainly eat. Connie returns with a big Dobash cake for John, which she says he’ll likely finish before Tommy finishes his soup.

Later at night, Tommy takes John to the site of the Korean War Memorial, where they sit on a bench overlooking it. Tommy tells John that the Korean War Veterans group that he’s a part of wants to build a nice fence around the memorial, protecting it from the homeless who tend to overrun the property at night. Tommy clarifies that what he wants John to do is to film the oral histories of as many veterans as they can contact, and further, since John is Filipino, he might want to mention Alepio Solmirin, who was Filipino, and served in the Army for 25 years, who died 10 years previously, and where 60 years after being wounded on the field of battle, he was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart. Tommy remarks that Alepio symbolizes what the Korean War was all about. It has been forgotten in the annals of history. Through further dialogue between the two we learn that Tommy found out through Donovan that while John is competent as a filmmaker, he’s not exactly Ken Burns. As examples he’s learned about, he references the wedding video where John dropped the external hard drive that carried the footage into the toilet after vomiting out a night of drinking, and the time he bailed on a video project he had promised to do pro bono. But despite this, Tommy says he feels John is the one to do this project, and moreover, feels that it will be good for John.

John agrees to take on the project and a montage shows life ensuing. John does research about the Korean War on his computer, while also continuing to physically be affected by PTSD, and the continuing effects of his withdrawal from his most recent alcohol binge. Because of this, he finds himself walking to a local bar. At the bar, he is shocked to see Jonas. First thinking his mentor is really a hypocrite, he finds that Jonas chooses to stay at the bar because he likes the people there and that his drink of choice is tomato juice. Jonas tells John that depending on others or the environment around him to keep him sober is not the key, only he, John, can make the choice to remain sober. Jonas surmises that after their last meeting that John went back home and emptied his cupboards of all his liquor. John is forced to admit that this is true. Jonas asks John, given he found himself there at the bar, what did that do for him? John, with Jonas’ words resonating in his mind, leaves the bar and walks back home, where during the night, he awakes from another wartime nightmare. 

The next day, while setting up a video shoot in a meeting room, Donovan gets a call. He tells his worker, Cathy Yamamura, to finish setting up as he goes out to the hallway to answer his cell. It is John. John apologizes to Donovan and thanks him for the job referral. John says he could really use any of his contacts to help him on his veterans shoot. But Donovan tells him all of his associates are working on other projects and he needs Cathy to work with him. John hangs up and realizes he needs to find someone to help him.

John meets Kayla as she studies on a picnic table behind the Korean Studies Buildings on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. We learn that, during happier times, John, Cynthia, and Kayla, would meet there for impromptu lunches during the week. Through their talk we realize there’s miles between them, as John doesn’t realize that Kayla is doing well in her studies (3.8 GPA) and that she doesn’t intend to go to law school, but rather graduate school in international relations, where she desires to one day be an ambassador. Though their meeting is mostly rocky, Kayla eventually warms up and agrees to help John on his shoots.

Karen visits Cynthia at her new apartment and they have lunch together. Cynthia shares more about John and how she’s had to deal with his emotions, and how she has implored him to go and see a therapist, but that he’s never done so. During their talk her cell phone rings and later Cynthia listens to the message. She tells Karen that John got a film job, and that Kayla will be helping him. Karen inquires of Cynthia as to what is her plan, and Cynthia responds that right now she doesn’t have one.

On the first day of filming the oral histories of the Hawaii Korean War veterans, we get a series of shots of John interviewing the veterans, who each speak to the camera and tell of their experiences. Later, after the film shoot, Tommy tells Kayla the history of the Korean war, which includes the fact that North and South Korea, while abiding by an armistice, continue to technically be at war, and an explanation that the first president of the Republic of Korea, Syngman Rhee, had earlier resided in Hawaii, and would also return after he left office and died in 1965. Kayla asks Tommy if he thinks the two Koreas will ever get back together, and he responds, “Hope always springs eternal.”

At another AA meeting, John is back with the group. On this day, another new member, Kevin Jordan, introduces himself and tells his story. After Kevin, John stands and informs the group that he’s a group returnee, having fallen off the wagon, but now, after a month of sobriety, he’s back. As he speaks Jonas watches him with an evaluative eye. As the meeting ends, John gives Jonas a package, inside of which are cans of tomato juice. Jonas laughs and embraces John. Later in Jonas’ office, the men drink the tomato juice. Jonas smacks his lips in appreciation of what he drinks. John admits it must be an acquired taste. Upon John’s inquiry, Jonas shows him a family portrait of his daughter, Sharon, his son-in-law, Mike, and his five-year-old granddaughter, Ashley, his pride and joy, who he says, laughingly, eats everything in sight. He tells John a story that in his deepest despair, when he was on the verge of committing suicide, he received a call from his daughter telling him she was pregnant, and the news saved him. Accordingly, he calls Ashley his little angel. He asks John, whether he’s willing to tell him the story, what’s the source of his PTSD. John stalls. Jonas gives him a business card to a psychologist. He tells John that if he doesn’t talk to him, he needs to talk to someone. John takes it.

At night, John sits on the bench overlooking the Korean War Memorial. Tommy drops by. They answer each other’s questions about whey they’re there. Tommy says he likes visiting his favorite memorial. John says it’s one of the few places he can go to smoke a cigarette without anyone complaining. Tommy talks more about the Korean War, saying that comparatively speaking, the percentage of civilian casualties in Korea was higher than in World War II. He looks over to see a variety of homeless people camping out and declares his disgust for people he presumes are disrespecting the place. He mentions that that they should put up their tents either at the beach or the park. John replies that it is likely that they’ve been pushed out of there. Tommy stands and walks to one of the homeless and takes matters into his own hand. He tears at one of the tents. The owner returns and shouts what is he doing? Tommy tells him to get the hell out of there. John arrives to separate the men and pull Tommy back. In so doing he notices that the homeless man is Kevin. Later he and Kevin smoke cigarettes. Kevin shares his background. Being laid off as a mechanic and the wife leaving him led to alcoholism and eventually life on the streets and having his tent torn down by a crazy man. John apologizes and says Tommy is sensitive about people camping out around the memorial, where there is engraved on granite pedestals, the names of 371 men of the Korean War and 689 men of the Vietnam War, who died in combat. Kevin responds that he didn’t even know there was a memorial nearby. John mentions that this is the point of Tommy and the rest of the veterans.

Back at home the next day, John leaves yet another message for Cynthia, mentioning that he’s 40 days into his second bout of sobriety, and that the filming is going well, and that he and Kayla are really working well together. After he hangs up, he notices some cook books on the coffee table. At Cynthia’s place, she listens to the end of the message just as Kayla appears out of the hallway, catching her mom abruptly ending the message. She smiles at her mom. She tells Cynthia that she’s off to see John. Cynthia inquires if it’s for another shoot, but Kayla tells her it’s to have lunch with her dad, and offers her opinion that her dad is really doing good.

Arriving at John’s, Kayla is shocked to find her dad in the middle of preparing a meal. Through her joking sarcasm, John asks her to look at a particular ingredient that he needs for the dinner he’s preparing. She looks at the recipe and tells him it is thyme, which he doesn’t have in the house. So he sets his cooking intention to the side. Kayla, incredulous that her dad is attempting to cook, expresses her disbelief at what she is seeing and asks how did John come up with the idea. John references the cook books and tells Kayla to check on a jello pie that he has in the refrigerator. Kayla opens the fridge and is awestruck, for out of it she brings a beautiful jello pie. But when she bites into a piece she begins to gag. John tastes a piece and he, too, gags. The culprit? John interpreted one third of a tablespoon of salt to be 13 tablespoons of salt. Kayla drops to the floor laughing as John continues to review the recipe and utters that he now sees what he did was wrong.

Later, John and Kayla eat pizza as they play a video game. Kayla talks about how she’s enjoying helping John film the veterans. John compliments her help and inquires what was her favorite story among what was said by the veterans. Kayla shares that it’s the story of the Hawaii Medal of Honor recipients, Herbert Pililaau and LeRoy Mendonca. They talk of the exploits of both, where each sacrificed their lives to help the rest of their platoons escape death.

We get a series of shots of John and Kayla continuing with more interviews of veterans. At the end of one particular session, one of the veterans takes the time to thank John for all that he is doing. John manages to meet the looks of Kayla and Tommy. They realize that they are witnessing a change for the good in John.

On the next day, Cynthia listens to yet another message from John, where he tells her of his continuing to film the veterans and in particular, about Thomas Tanaka, who in October, 1951, was wounded-in-action by a North Korean mortar in Kumsong, North Korea. Along with his Purple Heart, Tanaka was awarded the Korean Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, and the United Nations Service medal.  After the message, Cynthia breathes a sigh of thought.

Across town, John walks to his weekly AA meeting and sees that there is a man cleaning up the grounds. It is Kevin, who tells John that Jonas has let him stay in the building, and that he’s helping around the property since Jonas won’t let him pay what little rent he could afford. John smiles, and tells Kevin he’s a good guy, just like Jonas. They go inside to await the start of the meeting but find that Jonas is unusually late. Kevin goes to check on Jonas and then rushes back to report to John and the rest that Jonas’ door is locked. Kevin eventually finds the master key and John opens the door and he and the rest of the AA group enter and find Jonas lying at the side of his bed with his wrists slit. John checks on him and finds he’s still breathing and tells Victor to call 911.

In the hospital waiting area, Victor finishes a call with Jonas’ daughter. He tells Kevin and John that Ashley swallowed a piece of meat that got lodged in her throat. She didn’t die, but she was without oxygen for minutes so they are awaiting news as to whether she suffered any brain damage. His daughter said she was alone and didn’t know what to do. So she called Jonas and just kind of freaked out. She was screaming that Ashley couldn’t breathe, and Jonas kept telling her to call 911, so she hung up. She said the ambulance came in minutes and they were able to suck the chunk of meat out. But in the melee she didn’t bother to answer her phone. So she thinks Jonas suspected the worst. The doctor arrives and tells Kevin, Victor, and John the news. Jonas is alive but he’s got a real uphill battle yet to go. He lost a lot of blood and because of that he suffered Hypovolemic shock, a very serious medical problem that requires immediate treatment. So Jonas has received a lot of transfusion and so they would have to wait and see. Kevin and Victor thank the doctor for the update. But as he leaves, they turn to look for John. He has left.

At night, back at the memorial bench, John arrives with a paper sack. He sits and looks inside the package where he has a bought a bottle of Vodka. He takes out the bottle and opens it. But before he can take a swig, Tommy arrives and tells him not to do it. He tells John that he was alerted by Kevin and Victor who are concerned about him since he wasn’t at his home. Tommy tells John that he and Kevin have reconciled after Kevin apologized for not knowing about the memorial, and Tommy then took him to lunch. Tommy tells John that everyone’s lives are really not their own, that everyone owes it to the people who depend on them. He shares his story about being in combat in the Vietnam War and that what kept him going were his promises to come back to his mother, his kid brother, and fiancee who told him that he was not going to die, that he would come back and that they would get married and that she would go before him. Tommy mentions under his breath that she was right. John is affected by Tommy’s message. He puts the Vodka bottle back into the sack.

We get another series of shots that depict life continuing on. John, Kevin, and Victor keep watch over an unconscious Jonas in his hospital room. John, Kayla, and Tommy continue filming veterans. John finally walks through the door of the psychologist whose business card he was given by Jonas. Then, back in the hospital room, finally, Jonas opens his eyes, and John, Kevin, and Victor realize that he will be fine. Victor leaves to get the doctor, Kevin makes a call on his cell, and John leans in close to Jonas to tell him that Ashley is fine. In a subsequent cell message to Cynthia, she hears John say that Ashley is fine, doing cartwheels in fact, and that the whole experience, along with his work with the veterans, has made him realize that his life is indebted to others. He then says he has begun seeing a therapist which has greatly helped him, but that he has not told him the story that needs to be told yet. He wants to reserve that for telling it to Cynthia, if she will let him. Later, while trying to take a nap, John hears his cell phone ring. He checks on the caller and then immediately answers it because it is Cynthia.

Cynthia meets John at their picnic spot behind the Korean Studies Building. He tells her of the incident that has haunted him for years. It was during the Second Battle of Fallujah, Iraq. Cynthia listens. The fighting was relentless and John and his buddy, Madero, a Chicano from LA, were literally backed up against each other. Madero shooting in one direction and John in the other, and he couldn’t recall how many he killed, for which he still sees their faces. Eventually they killed everyone in their zone. Total annihilation, with bodies and body parts everywhere. John, Madero, and the rest of the soldiers around actually celebrated. But afterwards, John is so beat, that he goes to a well about 30 yards away since his canteen is empty. But then a kid comes out of a building with his hands held high, and gesturing that he wants some food. Madero retrieves an MRE from another soldier. But as he approaches, the kid opens his coat and they see that he’s wearing a bunch of explosives. Madero turns and starts to scream “Bomb!” But before he can even finish, the bomb explodes. John, 30 yards away, is blown back 20 feet. John rises in a world of clouded, heated dust. As the smoke clears John sees more bodies, more body parts, and then… the head of Madero. Back at the table, John puts his head down. Cynthia puts her hand atop his head.

Another series of shots shows the re-dedication of the Korean and Vietnam War Memorials. In the audience are Tommy, John, Kayla, Cynthia, Kevin, Victor, Jonas, along with many of the veterans who gave their interviews, and their families, as well as others in attendance. We then see the celebration dinner, where John, Cynthia, and Kayla enter the ballroom as a family, and Tommy shakes hands with people. We then see John, Cynthia and Kayla, sitting at a table with Tommy. We see a series of the veterans’ interviews, played upon a large screen. Tommy, sitting next to John, smiles and puts his arm around John and gives him a congratulatory squeeze. With everything having turned out okay, John, a man finally at peace with himself, is thankful for a life that has much promise ahead.

Back at the picnic table behind the Korean Studies Building, there is a gathering of all the people we’ve met in our story. It is a pot luck luncheon to celebrate and among the many types of food is a dish, French Chicken Fricassée, prepared by John. Kayla jokes that the last dish her dad tried to create was a jello pie that tasted like the waters of Ala Moana Beach. Cynthia volunteers to taste it and after trying a piece, she gives her approval, but then asks what is that flavor that she can’t seem to place. John smiles and tells her it’s thyme. In a story that comes full circle, everyone holds hands for a prayer. They then sit down to have a great lunch as the camera rises to end on a beautiful Hawaiian sky and a magnificent sun. We end our movie with a superimposition on a dark screen. It reads:

In November 2022, a US-South Korean air force exercise was countered with North Korea missile tests. In November 2023, both Koreas suspended the Comprehensive Agreement Pact, aimed at lowering tensions between the two countries, after North Korea launched a satellite. In 2024, as the Korean War continued in its 74th year, Kim Jong Un announced that peaceful reunification was no longer possible and proposed that South Korea be declared as a hostile state in the North Korean constitution.

Hope springs eternal.

For information on other movies in development by Yellow Brick Studio / LegacyVision Films click HERE.