Evelyn Eman Delmar

From the Archives: How Shall We Remember Them?

Note to Readers – Every now and then, I will re-post a blog entry that has withstood the test of time. Whether you missed it the first time ‘round or read it years ago, I feel it’s worth sharing again. I chose How Shall We Remember Them? from May 24, 2015 (with an expanded book list) to honor those who serve and sacrifice on behalf of the rest of us.

Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours. – Wallace Bruce

Everyone wants to be on the right side of history but history is still in flux. Regardless of your political leaning, you’ve probably noticed how people’s view of the Iraq war has changed over the years, just as the view of the Vietnam war has evolved. This adjustment of judgment is the psychological nature of all humans, not just politicians, pundits and media personalities.

One opinion that has secured firmed footing, regardless of how we feel about war: soldiers who serve in our name, risking life and limb, are heroes. Literature helps us understand and fully appreciate the lives and sacrifices of those who serve in our military, as well as the heroic families that sacrifice to support them. It also enlightens our understanding of how society (that’s us folks) relates to soldiers … and we can show our appreciation.

Regardless of which war interests you, and whether you prefer non-fiction accounts or novels carrying the theme, great books to enlighten and inspire readers abound. Here are some recommendations:

Non-Fiction
Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free — Alexander Jefferson with Lewis Carlson (WWII/Europe)
Unbroken — Lauren Hillenbrand (WWII/Pacific)
The Ghosts of Hero Street — Carlos Harrison (WW II, Korea)
Dispatches — Michael Herr (Vietnam)
Jarheadv — Anthony Swofford (Persian Gulf)
vGhost Wars
— Steve Coll (Afghanistan)
Thank You for Your Service — David Finkel (Iraq)
Fobbit — David Abrams (Iraq)
Plenty of Time When We Get Home — Kayla Williams (Iraq)
The Face of War — Martha Gellhorn (various)

Fiction
The Red Badge of Courage — Stephen Crane (Civil War)
A Farewell to Arms — Ernest Hemingway (WW I)
Catch-22 — Joseph Heller (WWII)
The Thin Red Line — James Jones (WW II, Pacific)
Johnny Got His Gun — Dalton Trumbo (WW II)
Paco’s Story — Larry Heinemann (Vietnam)
Tree of Smoke — by Denis Johnson (Vietnam)
The Things They Carried — Tim O’Brien (Vietnam)
The Valley — John Renehan (Afghanistan)
The Yellow Birds — Kevin Powers (Iraq)

How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes! – Maya Angelou

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