We watched the Nightline special for the upcoming movie, “Unbroken”. I can’t wait to see it. Angelina Jolie fell in love with Louis Zamperini and I am expecting her depiction of his life story to be as amazing as the life he actually did live!
Louis Zamperini, if you haven’t yet read his story, is an amazing man who lived through the most horrrendous situations! He grew up in California where he became an Olympic runner. He ran in the Berlin Olympics when Hitler was in power. I do believe he won his race there. He was fast!!
Then he was in a plane in the war where he survived many attacks until finally his plane crashed in the Pacific Ocean. He and 2 others were the only ones to survive, and ended up floating on a raft for the unheard of time of 47 days! One of them died during that time.
Only to be “rescued” by the Japanese. He spent the next year or so in a Japanese camp.
He was declared dead after being missing for over a year.
After he got home finally, he suffered from flashbacks and nightmares. One night, he woke from a nightmare in which he was strangling the Japanese commander who had tormented him so much, to find that he was indeed strangling someone. His pregnant wife.
That was the turning point for him…
He went to a Billy Graham crusade where the Lord reminded him of a promise he had made while floating on the life raft in the Pacific Ocean. ” Lord if you get me out of this I will give my life to You.” This was the last flashback he ever had.
He gave his life to God and never had a nightmare or flashback again.
I was greatly impacted by his life story when I read the book a couple of years ago. His resilience and will was amazing! He was a fighter. He would not give up! I recall hearing somewhere that you just have to hold out just a little longer than the other person and you win.
He did that. He held out and would not let the Japanese win! (in the special last night, it was stated that in the Japanese camps 40% of the prisoners died as compared to 1% in the German camps!!) By the time he was liberated at the end of the war, he weighed 67lbs!!!
In the end, he FORGAVE them. If he can forgive them, after the horrendous things they did to him, I certainly can forgive anyone.
Personally, I will be going to see this movie. I loved the book. I am amazed by this man. I can see why Angelina Jolie totally fell in love with this man. Louis Zamperini died this past year at 97. He lived a full life. His story of a true hero, will live on.
Thank you Angelina Jolie, Louis’ neighbor, for memorializing him in this movie.
Thank you Laura Hillenbrand, who by the way, while she wrote his story was totally housebound for 2 years because of her own illnesses. He encouraged her to keep fighting and beat those illnesses. He sent her his own purple heart medal to encourage her.