Heroes in 'The 15:17 to Paris' movie speak at Liberty's convocation
LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- Three men who have been given the Legion of Honor after thwarting a terrorist attack on a train to Paris spoke about their story at Liberty University's convocation Friday morning, the day that a movie depicting their story debuts in theaters.
'The 15:17 to Paris' movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the real-life story of three men whose brave act turned them into heroes during a train ride.
On August 21, 2015, a terrorist started opening fire on the Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris, but his attempt on an attack was prevented by three courageous Americans, who grew up in Sacramento together, traveling through Europe.
Their actions likely saved the lives of hundreds.
The film follows the course of the friends' lives, leading up to the attack.
The heroic trio is comprised of Anthony Sadler, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone.
On Friday, they sat on the stage at Convocation about the terrifying situation.
They said the terrorist was armed with weapons and ammunition and there were more than 500 people on the train; but, the three friends charged, tackled, and subdued the attacker and kept one passenger who was shot from bleeding out and dying.
"It was like our whole lives, our jobs, our hobbies, what we did for fun, all came into play that day on the train and you just can't look at all that and think that it was just chance," said Skarlatos.
Stars including Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Ray Corasani, PJ Byrne, Tony Hale, and Thomas Lennon join them in the film.
"If someone is going to walk away with only one thing I would hope it would be the question of asking yourself what would you do if you're in a situation like that and just to have an answer," said Stone.
"It doesn't take military experience or knowledge to do what we did," added Sadler. "If you find yourself in that situation, we just want people to know they're capable of extradordinary as well."
All three men said the experience was a wake-up call that brought them closer to each other and closer to their faith.