Memorial Day, 2012

Memorial Day originated from the commemoration of the fallen American Civil War Union soldiers and has evolved into a US Federal holiday which pays tribute to all American soldiers who have died in our wars.

This week let us remember in our hearts the families of the young men and women lost in Afghanistan and Iraq, for time has not run its course to soothe the pain of their loss.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption is one American soldier’s daunting tale of how he survived the physical cruelties of war and of how he barely made it through the mental battles after he came home.

Laura Hillenbrand does an excellent job of drawing out the suspense of this man’s travails.  Just when you think that Louie Zamperini is on his way to the sunny side of the street, she reveals another traumatic and impossible experience he had to endure.

Mr. Zamperini is an example of human evolution. While those around him focused on destroying their enemy, he focused on what was impeding his ability to move forward; racing to win a sporting event while being attacked on the track, thinking like a shark to keep from being eaten by one, and forgiving those who starved him of food and robbed him of his dignity. Let’s hope that someday every human will think as he does.  Then, there will be no more wars and we will have only the soldiers of a distant past to remember.

Doris P Nutter (d.2012) and William C Powell (d.2005)

Like Mr. Zamperini, two of my father’s siblings served in World War II and returned home to us to live long, meaningful lives.

thiscommonreader

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