"Voices of a Never Ending Dawn"
In honor of
the 100th anniversary of the Polar Bears
returning to Belle Isle on
July 4th, 1919, I want to share with you the
memorial that I
dedicated on my property on July 4th, 2019. The
memorial is located
in the area that was used to film the “deep snow” shots while making
Bear documentary, Voices of a Never Ending Dawn, in
January of 2009.
Specifically, the memorial is located in the area where “The Valley of Death” scene was shot in virgin 30” (plus) deep snow. The first photo was taken from the trench where (in the movie), Lt. Harry Mead led his men from Company A through what became known as the “Valley of Death” to escape the overwhelming force of attacking Bolos. The second photo was taken at the memorial looking back across this area to the trench that Mead’s men escaped from to attempt to save themselves. The third photo is of the memorial including the period correct version of the US flag. The fourth photo is of the plaque itself honoring “The Boys”. The fifth photo is of the flagpole base with the P.B.M.A. lapel pin embedded in the concrete. This pin is the one that I wore at my father’s funeral. He was the son of a Polar Bear and I wanted him to be a part of this memorial.
Thank you to all the participants that helped make the movie and create the memories that are still so vivid to me. We faced four straight days of -10 degree temperatures and a minimum of 8” of new snowfall each day. I am sure that the “Valley of Death” scene was one of the most memorable and intense moments of that entire experience to all that participated. I wanted this memorial to commemorate not only the Polar Bears, but also all of those who faced these hardships while trying to honor “The Boys”. During the filming at my property, so many people were sure that they felt the presence of our Polar Bears during this version of our own personal “frozen hell”. Since that time, I have felt many times that at least one of The Boys had stayed on site after the filming ended. Now they have a place dedicated to their memory that they can call their own. This land will always be a home for these men that suffered so greatly in the service of their country and that specific area will always be known as “The Valley of Death.”
May God Bless my fellow living historians and those that are part of my extended Polar Bear family.
Kevin G. Stark
View from the trench, looking across the field, screen capture from the film, Jan. 2009.
View from the trench, looking across the field, 2019. The U.S. Flag next to the memorial is visible off in the distance at the center of the photo.
View looking across the field, towards the trench.
Memorial and 48 star US Flag.
Flagpole base with "Polar Bear" pin.
Retreat across the "Valley of Death", screen capture from the film, Jan. 2009.
This page was created on 05 Aug 2019
The URL for this page is http://pbma.grobbel.org/stark.html