The Fourth of July is the quintessential American holiday. We hold parades, gorge ourselves, kick back and relax, and blow stuff up. I can always remember getting tripped up on the Trivial Pursuit question: “Do they celebrate the Fourth of July in England?” Of course not, but I just could not wrap my mind around someone not wanting to celebrate something as awesome as the Fourth of July.
As we break for 4th of July weekend (so glad it’s on a Friday this year) – let’s pause to remember what Independence Day is really about, and honor a true hero.
The story of World War II vet Louis Zamperini is one that calls out to be made into a movie. You may have seen previews for the film during the Olympics, although it is not scheduled for release until this Christmas.
Louis Zamperini was born in 1917 to Italian immigrants in Olean, New York, but the family moved to Southern California two years later. Louis took to distance running, and was setting records at state championships before he graduated from Torrence High School. His abilities earned him a scholarship to USC, and at 19 he made the U.S. team heading to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. He led the U.S. finishing eighth place in the 5,000 meter race. He wowed everyone (including Adolph Hitler) with his final lap, run in just 56 seconds.