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December 12, 2014     Post-Gazette
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December 12, 2014

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POST-GAZETTE, DECEMBER 12, 2014 Page 5 A Frank De Pasquale Venture by Claude Marsilia As a tribute to the heroic Louis Silvie Zamperini, the Post-Gazette is printing a revised review of the February 1, 2013 book review of Laura HiUenbrand's runaway bestseller Unbroken. Louis died on July 2, 2014, at the age of 97. by Laura Hillenbrand 473 Pages Hard Cover * Published by Random House A World War H Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption This true story is about a remarkable man who lived five distinct lives. First, as an individual against soci- ety, second, as a successful long distance runner, third, as an Army officer lost at sea, fourth, as a mistreated Japanese Paw, and fifth, a respected sports coach, after WWII. He was 12 years old when he witnessed the ill-fated German dirigible Graf Zeppelin flying over his home in Torrace, California. Eventually this led to his desire to fly. This boy's name is Louis Silvie Zamperini, the son of Italian immigrants. From his childhood Louie was difficult to handle, and uncontrol- lable. He had a fierce appetite. He stole food from homes and places of business. The only person he would listen to was his older brother Pete. Louis became a track star in high school. The need to race was a dominant factor in his life and took over his apparent opposition to soci- ety. He was a changed indi- vidual. Everything he did was aimed toward being a top runner. He was well on his way to being an outstanding miler. Hillenbrand fills dozens of pages to elaborate on Louie's outstanding racing exper- tise, which includes his efforts to prepare for the Olympics in Berlin. His brother and his sister were convinced that Louis was capable of running the four- minute-mile. This ideal thinking was happening during the era of the re- nowned runner Jesse Owens, "As Louis worked through the summer of 40, America slid toward war." In early 1941 Louis joined the Army Air Force. Subsequently, Louis became an astute bombardier officer and be- came part of the crew for the issued B24 bomber, com- monly known as "The Flying Coffin" because it was plagued with mechanical problems. It is in this sec- tion of the book that Hillenbrand stirs the memory of the devastation of World War It, beginning with Pearl Harbor. Hillenbrand tells us that the airmen faced an impos- sible task. "... in WWII, 52,173 AAF men were killed in combat. Read this, " ...a Pacific Bomber crewman's tour of duty had a 50 percent chance of being killed." The B24's were accident-prone. www.depasqualeventures,com Author Laura Hillenbrand This true story is about a remarkable man who lived five distinct lives. His name is Louis Silvie Zamperini, the son of Italian immigrants. Hillenbrand writes about the horrible conditions the air- men faced once they ditched their injured airplane, such as roving sharks. Seldom were they rescued. The first half of the war was domi- nated by the agile Japanese airplanes. While on a rescue mis- sion, Louis and his ship- mates crashed into the sea. Before long, Louis realized it was more important to keep one's mind active than hav- ing food. The survivor's re- lated stories; Louis was able to recite his mother's reci- pes. On the forty-six day the haggard shipmates were rescued by a Japanese Pa- trol boat and treated with al- ternate care. At this point Louis weighed 80 Ibs, his fel- low airman, Phil weighed 67 Ibs. They're emaciated bod- ies were difficult to behold. They were transported to Execution Island who's des- picable reputation preceded it. They were treated miser- ably, and disrespectful. Hillenbrand captures the essence of the airman's mindset. Knowing full well that death was approaching, the reality of their burden through their suffering should be coming to an end. Similar to other sections of her book she is capable to write in an encapsulated manner, that the reader will clearly understand the com- pelling drama I have read many books that revealed the terrible ordeals our servicemen were subjected to. I cannot get over this abuse. Some- times I have to sit silently until my anger subsides. I will never forget. Once again the prisoners are moved to another dreaded prisoner-of-war- camp, Omori. It was here that Louis met his nemesis, Watanabe. He was a brutal individual who was feared by the prisoners as well as his fellow guards. Watanabe be- came fixated on Louis. He beat Louis daily. Reading and feeling about the con- stant abuse and degrading the PaW's experienced, I find it difficult to understand how any of these unfortu- nate heroes ever made it. Finally some sense of re- lief was becoming evident; from time to time B29's were flying overhead show- ering leaflets over the prison camps. This may be a good time to note the definitive photographs that out- line this book and how grand and telling they are. They add credence to this unbeliev- able book. The following line is so significant, "In its ram- page over the east, Japan had brought atrocity and death on a scale that stag- gers the imagination." "On the morning of Sep- tember 2, 1945, Japan signed its formal surrender. The Second World War was over." I found it incredible to read that some PaW's for- gave their sadistic and cruel captors. Louis who was lost in this post world war turned to the one redeeming quality he cherished, distant running. He began training and sub- sequently clocked a mile in 4:18 minutes. During one of his historical runs he in- jured himself severely. "It was all over." His life became a shambie. In time Louis returns to Japan and visits Sugamo Prison, which held 850 former guards. Here he shook hands with the be-wildered guards he remembers. Reading about the des- peration that this true hero lived through is disturbing and heart rending. Hillen- brand's writing on how Louis fights back is engrossing and everlasting. Supporting Louis through- out his ordeal is Peter, Louis' oldest brother, who was a hero in his own right evidenced by the following revealing statement; "Coach (Peter) Zamperini was so beloved that upon his retirement in 1977, he was feted by eight hundred people on the Queen Mary." This well-written and richly researched book re- flects the life of a remark- able man. Don't miss it. Quattro Grille, Rosticceria & Pizzeria ooo 266 Hanover St. 617.720.0444 Bricco Boutique Italian Cuisine OOO 241 Hanover St. * 617.248.6800 Mar Seafood & Oyster Bar OOO 135 Richmond St. * 617.723.MARE Trattoria II Panino Boston's I st Original Tratforia OOO 11 Parmenter St. 617.720.1336 Umbria Prime 5 Story Steakhouse Oyster Bar & Night Club OOO 295 Franklin St. 617.338.1000 Bricco Panetteria Homemade Artisan Breads 000 Bricco Place 241 Hanover St, 617.248.9859 Bricco Salumeria & Pasta shoppe Over 50 Varieties OOO Bricco Place 241 Hanover St. * 617.248.9629 (next to Bricco Panetteria) Lounge & Night Club Coming Soon OOO 150 Kneeland St, Gelateria & Cannoli Factory Homemade Getato & Cannolis OOO 272 Hanover St. 64 Cross St. 617.720.4243 "Letters at Christmas" Candlelight Service \ On Sunday December 21st at 10:30 am, Boston Harbor Community Church, 9 Salutation Street, North End, Boston MA, invites you to join them for "Letters at Christmas" Candlelight Service. It is so easy to get lost in the holiday, that we lose the true meaning of Christmas. We can easily forget that Christmas is all about the life transforming gift of His son, Jesus Christ. Through Children's Bells, Carols, Drama, and Candlelight we will re-focus on this heavenly message to the world ... "A Savior is born." Luke 2:11 f ALBANO F. PONTE, CEP Financial and Estate Planning Email Phone 617-320-0022 MICHAEL F. NOBILE, CPCU mnobile @ BOSTON 30 Prince Street Boston, MA 02113 (617) 523-6766 Fax (617) 523-0078 MEDFORO 39 Salem Street Medford, MA 02155 (781) 395-4200 Fax (781) 391-8493 J