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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Those who Suffered, Those who Died


The winds of change are fickle. The tides of arrogance and ignorance eventually meet history head on. The fate of the few who manage to stay afloat during the process are finally recognized. Louis Zamperini is one of those. 

I was so pleased to hear that a movie was being made to honor him and the millions who died on our behalf during World War II. I met Louis in the pages of a book long before the above ad came out in People Magazine. Laura Hillenbrand had charmed me with her novel about “Sea Biscuit” so I ordered her second book on Kindle: “Unbroken; a World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.” Little did I know what was in store for me?

I’m not finished reading it yet. I find it difficult to stay on its pages for more than an hour at a time. The emotion is raw and intense. Tears fill my eyes at the horrors I’m witnessing through the perspective of Zamperini and the other pilots who worked side by side to fight our enemies. I am shocked, stunned, and horrified by their suffering.

"Looking Outward" 16 x 20 mixed media on canvas and distressed window frame
How did they survive? Louis was a former Olympic runner, which kept him fit, so by the time he was drafted as a fighter pilot, he was strong. He’d already overcome many obstacles in his life which helped him focus on solving problems and weathering difficulties.

The author was able to interview Louis and a few remaining vets from that time period. She also read his diaries and written accounts. In my opinion, this should be required reading for every high school student. Many of our youth don’t recognize or understand the sacrifices that were made on their behalf. They shout for their “rights” and sometimes spit on their flag ignorantly adding injury to injury on those who suffered and died for them.

Louis’ story will be brought to the forefront by Director Angelina Jolie, shown with Zamperini in the above photo. I will definitely see this movie. The book alone, prompted me to write this blog. We must not; we cannot forget those who gave their lives for our freedoms.

"Americana" 24 x 18 acrylic on canvas
 I highly recommend this book and I’m sure the movie will measure up to the complex circumstances in which these heroes fought in our names.