Award-winning film about Lejeune water shown in Raleigh
Posted August 7, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. — The award-winning documentary about the toxic drinking water at Camp Lejeune got a showing in Raleigh Tuesday that included a tribute to the man who led the fight to disclose information about the contamination.
The North Carolina Museum of History screened "Semper Fi: Always Faithful," which was released last year, in its auditorium Tuesday. The film chronicles retired Marine Jerry Ensminger's quest to uncover the groundwater contamination.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Miller and Republican Sen. Richard Burr paid tribute to Ensminger, whose daughter, Janey, was 9 years old when she died of leukemia that was likely caused by tainted drinking water at Camp Lejeune.
"I have been very disappointed in the top leadership in the Marines for not accepting responsibility," Miller said.
Ensminger has led the fight for information about the contamination and has worked to get health care for Marines stationed at the base and their families. He said the tribute at the film screening was touching.
"Through her short life and her death, (Janey) has made more of a different than a lot of people will make with a full life," he said.
President Obama signed the Janey Ensminger Act Monday after Congress passed it last week.
For 30 years, starting in 1957, water on the base was tainted by leaking fuels and cleaning chemicals. Documents show Marine leaders were slow to act.
Ensminger said it was time for Marine leaders to accept responsibility.
"Anytime anybody picks the protection of an institution over the protection of people, they are wrong," he said. "I want people to be held accountable."