Pell Center

The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina is a multidisciplinary research center focused at the intersection of politics, policies and ideas.

Tara Copp on “Story in the Public Square”

Air Dates: November 17-18, 2017

Whether it’s a film like “Saving Private Ryan,” or a memoir like “A Helmet for My Pillow,” the temptation to romanticize war—and the Second World War, in particular—is part of American life. Tara Copp made sense of her own experience in the Iraq war, by understanding her grandfather’s service more than 70 years ago.

Copp is an accomplished journalist, and is currently the Pentagon Bureau Chief for Military Times. Her work has led her to report from the Middle East, Europe and Asia. She has appeared on BBC, FOX, CNN and C-SPAN to discuss military issues. She is the author of The Warbird. Which is a moving memoir of her experience in Iraq, her grand-father and great-Uncle’s service in World War II, and a reflection on the stories we tell about the wars our nation fights.

In the episode, she talks about what it was like to report from Iraq. She describes how those experiences made it difficult to return to a normal life afterward.

“It was really disorienting,” Copp said, “in the desert purpose seems so clear.”

She worked through those difficult memories and emotions by reading her grandfather’s writing. With that inspiration, she rebuilt his war.

Story in the Public Square” airs on Rhode Island PBS in Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts on Sundays at 11 a.m. and is rebroadcast Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. An audio version of the program airs Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. & 8:30 p.m. ET and Sundays at & 12:30 p.m. ET on SiriusXM’s popular P.O.T.U.S. (Politics of the United States), channel 124.

Story in the Public Square is a partnership between the Pell Center and The Providence Journal. The initiative aims to study, celebrate, and tell stories that matter.

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