SOURCE: Leon Cooper

October 15, 2008 12:00 ET

Acclaimed Actor Ed Harris, Star of "Appaloosa," Voice of New WWII Documentary Profiling Gross Neglect on Tarawa Beach

MALIBU, CA--(Marketwire - October 15, 2008) - Academy-award nominee and Golden Globe winning actor Ed Harris, currently starring in the movie "Appaloosa," narrates a documentary that highlights an emotional look through the eyes of WWII veteran and author Leon Cooper. Cooper is leading a crusade to clean up piles of garbage mounting on Red Beach in Tarawa, hallowed ground where thousands of American marines lost their lives in one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history.

The documentary, titled, "Return to Tarawa: The Leon Cooper Story," shot by noted Hollywood filmmaker Steven C. Barber, and award-winning film editor Jay Miracle, who has worked with George Lucas, Milos Forman, and Francis Ford Coppola, is in its final stages. Major television channels have expressed interest in airing the film.

According to Cooper, "The piles of garbage, such as plastic bags and bottles, food wrappers, soiled diapers, and other trash is continuing to pile up -- an insult to the memory of all who fought and died there for their country." He wants the U.S. government to clean up the area, restoring Red Beach to its pristine condition, as a permanent war memorial.

For the past three years, he has been appalled by the lack of interest from U.S. government officials about the mounds of trash on the beach. He has tried repeatedly to get their attention on this important matter.

Cooper has taken his personal mission to the political top brass in Washington DC, without much success. Only Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congressman Henry Waxman have expressed interest in his cause, with Waxman putting comments into the Congressional Record.

Earlier this year, Cooper made a return trip to Tarawa, meeting with public officials and local media there for the documentary, as he saw the gross neglect first-hand. Go to:

Leon Cooper at Red Beach:

Mr. Cooper is available for interview. Copies of his books, "90 Day Wonder - Darkness Remembered," and "The War in the Pacific - A Retrospective," and videos are also available upon request. For further information visit his Web sites at:, or, or his blogs: or He can also be reached at:

c/o P.O. Box 6030
Malibu, CA 90265
Tel: (310) 457-2832
Fax: (310) 457-2866

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