Monday, March 12, 2007

Book Report – Flags of our Fathers

Another book report from another great book. Since I’m a 1st gulf war veteran (operation desert shield and desert storm) and have a family line of a military father (Walter Preston Eades) & grandfather (George Herbert Eades) I really enjoy reading and learning about different wars. I read a book last year called, Reporting World War II that was a great read about reporters reports of the war and I was glad to read another world war II book. Going through James Bradley’s book, Flags of our Fathers was an joyous emotional experiences. I cried, laughed, and read way to late into the night (I finished the book at 3am last night). My wife and I are now really looking forward to watching the movie based on this book.

It was a fun read for me but I did pull from it my two key thoughts. I’m not totally sure if these will be useful for me in a practical way or just a “reflecting on the past” way (probably both). Here are my thoughts:

1) I’m still so impressed with the physical and mental ability that the world war II men and women had and did. This book is replete with incredible physical acts that would compete with any Olympic athlete. The decisions that these soldiers had to make quickly were life changing and life saving/ending. Yet they did it. For a huge hunk of rock (Iwo Jima) in the middle of the pacific ocean they did these things with honor and a desire to protect the men they were with.

2) My second thought was the way these men and most men of World War II didn’t really talk about what happened in the war. It wasn’t until after Jack Bradley’s (James Bradley’s dad) death did his family find out about what he did. Though he was a national hero (one of the six flagraisers of Iwo Jima) he lead a simple life. My grandfather and grandmother and my wife’s grandfather (WWII vets) also lived simple lives. I think the last few paragraphs of the book really sums up this thought,
“After spending five years researching their lives, the boys certainly seem like heroes to me. I admit it.
But I must defer to my father. He was there. He knew the guys, knew what they did. His hands were on that pole….
So I’ll take my dad’s word for it: Mike, Harlon, Franklin, Ira, Rene, and Doc, the men of Easy Company—they just did what anybody would have done, and they were not heroes.
Not heroes.
They were boys of common virtue.
Called to duty.
Brothers and sons. Friends and neighbors.
And fathers.

It’s as simple as that.”


Taylor said...

Haha, I loved this book also, I'm doing a report for my 8th grade class and I found it facinating. Unfornuatly, not for the video. It was a great movie but it didnt compare to the book's intensit at all.

Mark E. Eades said...

Taylor thx for your comment - I really enjoyed the book and thought the movie really couldn't share the intensity that the book shared.

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