When America began drafting soldiers for World War I, a legal right to abstain from fighting was encoded in law. But many conscientious objectors sent to work for the medical corps were beaten for their views. During World War II, pacifist churches like the Quakers and the Mennonites worked with the military to design a Civilian Public Service for those who chose not to fight. A new documentary produced by WVPT Public Television tells the story of how many in the Shenandoah Valley help their country through public service instead of fighting. Philosopher Bill O’Meara (James Madison University) is the film’s director, and history professor Albert Keim (Eastern Mennonite University) is the assistant director.

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