I have mentioned Louis Zamperini in a previous post and feel compelled to do so again today on the event of his passing at the age of 97. Not only did he live to a ripe old age, he survived impossible situations, including 47 days at sea in a life boat. And that was after surviving a plane crash that killed most of his bomber crew during a mission in World War II. Even more extraordinary is the fact that he was an Olympic runner whose career was cut short by the war. Experts predicted that he would be the first man to break the four minute mile, but was denied a second run for the gold after the Olympics were cancelled and he enlisted.
After making it off the life boat, he still faced years of torture in a Japanese POW camp, a battle with alcoholism and a struggle to reconcile what he had been through. Ultimately, he overcame it all and went on to use his life to help others, especially young boys who may have enjoyed a but of trouble as much as he did as a youth.
While he is no longer with us, his story was turned into the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, which was then turned into a movie directed by Anglina Jolie. The movie isn’t scheduled for release until December, but learning more about his story would be an excellent way to celebrate what the 4th of July really stands for: resilience, conviction, hope, and patriotism.