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MCC’s Jose Amaya assists with Hero Street film documentary preview

MARSHALLTOWN – Marshalltown Community College Humanities Faculty Dr. Jose Amaya will participate in a panel session Tuesday, April 23 at St Ambrose University in Davenport following a sneak preview of a Fourth Wall Films historical documentary entitled “Riding the Rails to Hero Street.” Dr. Amaya is a Fulbright Scholar who previously taught US Latino Studies at Iowa State University, and helped put the Hero Street story within the larger context of Mexican and U.S. history in the early 1900s for the filmmakers.

This new film historicizes the background of the families of 57 Mexican-American men who enlisted in the U.S. military to fight in World War II. They were all from Hero Street, a one-and-a-half block long street in Silvis, IL. Many of them had migrated to Davenport, IA and Silvis from the American Southwest. Amazingly, only 22 families lived on this street. It wasn’t named Hero Street then, but the city renamed the street in 1969 to honor the men who enlisted. To date, Hero Street has provided more than 100 service members since Mexican-American immigrants settled there in 1929.

The Rundles have completed their new documentary on the Hero Street men and their story, says Dr. Amaya. “I’m truly honored to have helped, because eight of these men made the supreme sacrifice to their country. They didn’t ask questions … they just served. Their lives and their legacy make me proud to be an American.” The documentary won’t be aired on television until fall, but it’s anticipated to air on PBS in Illinois or Iowa. Additional information is online at www.HeroStreetMovie.com.

According to the website, Emmy-nominated filmmakers Kelly and Tammy Rundle “will explore the personal and family sagas behind (eight of) the heroes and tell the compelling true story of an ongoing struggle to memorialize Tony Pompa, Frank Sandoval, William Sandoval, Claro Soliz, Peter Masias, Joseph Sandoval, Joseph Gomez and John S. Muños.”

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