"A year ago today I was sweating out shells on Anzio Beachhead; today I am sitting in Hitler's luxuriously furnished apartment in Munich writing a few lines home..."
"Dear Sir, For twenty two years I have carried your picture in my wallet. I was only eighteen years old that day that we faced one another on that trail in Chu Lai, Vietnam. Why you did not take my life I'll never know...Forgive me for taking your life, I was reacting just the way I was trained..."
"We were all kneeling in among some bush, and every one of us could not refrain from casting a glance at the dying man who lay there trembling in every limb and the blood spurting from his nostrils and the wound in his forehead. In the heat of action, such scenes do not much affect one, but at a time like this it is awful indeed."
The war-time letters of soldiers Horace Evers, Richard Luttrell and David Franklin Embree are each a part of the New York Times' bestseller "War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars." Since Jan. 29, Los Angeles has been hearing these letters and more read by Mario Van Peebles and Treat Williams in War Letters, adapted by Paul Selig and directed by Philip Himberg for performance at the Canon Theatre.
Williams recently starred on Broadway in Follies. Other theatrical credits include Captains Courageous and Love Letters' L.A. debut. Van Peebles is known for his film career, including "Ali," "Judgment Day," "Posse" and "New Jack City."
Andrew Carroll's book, "War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars" covers American coorespondence to and from the front in the wars ranging from the Revolution to the Gulf War. From the famous like Civil War nurse Clara Barton to Leon, a near anonymous Korean war soldier, "War Letters" looks at the realities of battle, love and loss through the eyes of those fighting and those waiting at home.
Opening night of War Letters is Feb. 17. Tickets are $25-$50. The Canon Theatre is located at 205 North Canon Drive in Beverly Hills. For reservations, call (310) 859-2830. — By Christine Ehren