A Night to Remember: The Medal of Honor Documentary Premieres in Knoxville

A buzz filled the air in Knoxville, Tenn. on March 31, when hundreds of enthusiastic locals turned out for the premiere of “Medal of Honor: The History.” Among the guests were distinguished military men and women, children of the famous war hero and Medal of Honor recipient Alvin C. York, city officials and proud community members eagerly anticipating the start of the Medal of Honor convention in Knoxville this fall.

The evening was kicked off with a VIP gathering at the East Tennessee History Center where two Medal of Honor recipients were the life of the party. Sammy Davis, U.S. Army veteran, earned his medal in Vietnam and spent much of Monday sharing his story of valor with the community. Hershel “Woody” Williams, U.S. Marine Corps veteran from World War II (Iwo Jima) captivated guests with his warm smile and charming character. Together they posed for photos and shared bits of personality including Williams’ stylish cowboy boots and Davis’ musical talent of playing the harmonica.

“Having Sammy and Woody in town for the documentary premiere was an honor for the city of Knoxville,” said Joe Thompson, co-chairman of the Medal of Honor Convention. “They have such vibrant personalities and remarkable stories to share.”

At the Regal Riviera Stadium 8 Theatre a long line of energetic people waiting to see the documentary for the first time formed down Gay Street. Inside, a red carpet served as a path guiding viewers to the two theaters for the showing of the one-of-a-kind documentary produced by Ed Hooper and Knoxville-based RIVR Media.

Before playing the 47-minute film, Davis and Williams shared humble words of gratitude to the city of Knoxville and the producers of the first-ever documentary on the history of the Medal of Honor. Quickly after, guests fixed their eyes on the screen as the lights dimmed for the show.

“It’s mind blowing, the whole time you sit there with your mouth open,” Sammy Davis said about the documentary in an interview with WBIR. “And I’m a Medal of Honor Recipient and I should know all of this and it’s phenomenal.”

Prior to Knoxville’s premiere, 30 Medal of Honor recipients attended a private screening of “Medal of Honor: The History” at the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington D.C. on March 24.

“Both premieres were a tremendous success and truly set the stage for the Knoxville convention,” said Thompson. “This documentary will be shared for years to come perpetuating the legacy of the Medal of Honor.”