Monday, November 10, 2014

Celebrating the Heroes -- Books For Veteran's Day

It's hard to know how to celebrate Veteran's Day.  After all, how does one celebrate the fact that someone gave their life so that others could live in peace.  It's odd to say that one can not have peace unless battles are fought.  Any general will tell you that wars lead to peace or at least that is the hopeful outcome.  In our nation's history there have been plenty of war stories to share and plenty of Veterans to show appreciation to for the sacrifices they have made.  In honor of this day and for those who served our country valiantly, here are the top three books on our list that should make every reader humbled by the courage and sacrifices of heroes who sometimes are forgotten.

Laura Hillenbrand 's Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption is an inspiring story that is written so well that the reader forgets they are reading nonfiction.  It reads like a novel and is a beautiful tribute to a World War II hero,  Louis Zamperini.  He defied all odds of surviving a plane crash on the Pacific Ocean, which leaves the reader in awe of the human spirit and the will to survive anything.  Wonderfully told.  Never to be forgotten.  

Another story of World War II is told by historian Barbara W. Tuchman  The Guns of August   This is the book on World War II that is definitive and the best.  In rich narrative Ms. Tuchman details how the war began, who were the key characters and how the war could have been stopped but wasn't.  The tome is over 600 pages but well worth the time to read if someone is serious about learning the details of World War II. 

Veterans' of today's military are often overlooked as heroes.  In part because America has become a bit war weary.  In Black Hawk Down, written by Mark Bowden, readers are discover the true courage and brutality that are synonymous with battles.  In October of 1993,  one hundred US military men went into Somalia in hopes to capture two top Somali warlords.  A simple task which should have taken one hour but last through the night.  This narration is riveting, and readers will not be able to put the book way until the very last word is read.   This book is a valuable resource to modern war, which to some, gives an excellent starting point to understanding the  U.S Military of today. 

There are so many wonderful books written about the military, some uplifting others a scathing rebuke of military actions.  The debate will continue to go on about the good and evil of war, one thing is for certain.  In every battle there are heroes who deserve the recogniton and honor that comes along with being a hero.   To all the men and women who served our country, a heartfelt thank you for your dedication.  To the authors who wrote about their lives and battles, thanks to you as well.  Without your talent, readers would never get to know these men and women.   

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