Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

As I was teaching the little kids in Sunday School today about the ordeals of the Apostle Paul and how so many people tried to kill him during his travels simply because of his message, I paused to ask them a question about how they might react if the people around them attacked them simply for being a Christian. What would they do?

Then, inside my head, I asked myself what I would do. Then I thought about Memorial Day....

Memorial Day: Day of Remembrance

I thought about Memorial Day because of all those soldiers, sailors, Marines, and Airmen who perished in the battles in U.S. history.

I thought about them because many of them fought and died simply for being who they were: Americans.

As a writer, I usually blog about the writing process on Mondays, but today I wanted to share some of my favorite books about those who fought and those who died in World War II, my favorite historical period.

I love reading about this time in history because of how Americans were thrust into a world war after being brutally attacked. Americans came together to fight to protect our freedoms and to help other countries from falling to the enemy.

But I mostly enjoy reading about this time in history because of the incredible stories of survival in the midst of hell on earth and the uncommon valor of everyday citizens in the throes of the ugliest of all situations: war.

Here are some of my favorite reads:

This book is a nail-biter. The author vividly captures the chaos and  the fear of the unknown that is war. For a visual person like me, it was a page turner!

The author is the son of one of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima. He not only presents his father's story, but the story of the flag raisers and some Japanese history that will make your skin crawl. It is a gruesome tale of war  and about exactly who our Marines were battling in the Pacific. A page turner that will make you weep.

I read this book after watching the HBO series. The book does an excellent job of showing how war forms bonds among young men more than any other situation. These men forged an unshakable bond that is truly admirable. You will walk away from this book with a greater respect for the veterans of the Battle of the Bulge. 

I have blogged about this book before, but wanted to mention it here again on Memorial Day out of respect for those men who died and survived the Bataan Death March and imprisonment during WWII. Not very many people know the story of these men. This book is just one story of thousands, but it leaves you with a portrait of what our soldiers endured after Pearl Harbor. You owe it to yourself to read and learn the often forgotten story of the Bataan Death March if you truly want to know what happened in WWII. 

Last, but certainly not least, is this most excellent book about Olympic runner and WWII veteran, Louis Zamperini. I have blogged about this book also, but wanted to mention it again here on this special day of remembrance. This story is so unbelievably amazing that I had to stop and do an internet search to make sure it really is based on a TRUE is that astonishingly remarkable that you will walk away changed after you read it. This man not only endured hell on earth like all WWII vets, but did so with such dauntless tenacity that you will be truly astounded about his survival. I hear this book is being made into a movie soon. Can't wait to see it!

Well, this is my Memorial Day post. I hope that you all stop and take time to remember all those who died for our country in small ways and in big ways during wars or stateside. Those who died simply for being Americans...and for protecting our freedoms. 

It takes special courage to "strap on the boots" and leave the comforts of home to serve your country. All veterans have earned our respect in that regard.

All they ask is that you remember them at your picnics and barbecues and parties this weekend. 

That is all.



  1. Great post. Read Unbroken in January and loved it. Can't wait for the movie.

    1. I know! I wonder if they will be able to truly capture the impact of this man's life on the big screen. It will probably have to be a 3 hour movie!

      Thanks for visiting!