I first heard Louis Zamperini’s story from his own lips when I was a student at our shared alma mater of USC. I remember feeling my eyes get bigger and bigger as his story unfolded from the streets of Torrance, California to the Olympic Games to the POW camps of Japan and then back to California. I remember thinking “someone needs to write a book or a movie about this guy!”
His story is so incredible that if it were fiction, no one would believe it. The book about him was released in 2010 and authored by the very talented Laura Hillenbrand, who also wrote “Seabiscuit.” I devoured the book soon after its release and was moved once again by the story I had heard decades before from the petite but powerful Zamperini. When I met Mr. Zamperini it was very clear that he wanted to be an example for humankind, not the exception to it. He passed away last year just months before the release of the movie based on his life which was directed by Angelina Jolie.
At the time of this post the book has almost 24,000 reviews on Amazon and an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars. In my humble opinion, EVERYONE should read this book. Not only will it put Memorial Day into perspective for the many of us who have never experienced the battlefield firsthand, it will also illustrate for you the power of the human spirit that is within each and every one of us.
You can find the book here: