“So many of our parents and grandparents have—and unfortunately some still do—sacrifice their innocence as human beings in struggles to defend our very morals and ideals. I believe that it is safe to say that most of us, at some point in our lives, have heard a tale of a soldier fighting for his or her life in a foreign country against an unfamiliar enemy. But the question is: How many of us have actually sat down and truly, completely listened to these soldiers and their personal accounts of the struggle?”
So begins the argument from Andrew Gabriel, author of A Diary of Hope: The True Story of an American Prisoner of War. This, his first book, was created as a remembrance to his grandfather, Frank Carollo, and the sacrifices that he, and so many others, were forced to make during World War II.
The basis of his point is something we should all take to heart: soldiers have fought and died for all of us throughout the history of our country. Their stories are more than footnotes in history books, they should part of the fabric or our collective conscious.
So today, I encourage you to download Andrew’s manifesto and spend a few moments reading it. Then I encourage you to take a few more minutes to do as he suggests: listen to these brave men and women as they recount their stories.
[Note: this also reminded me of a letter from Kurt Vonnegut to his parents that I read yesterday regarding his time as a POW. Fascinating stuff.]