Louis Zamperini died yesterday, "old and full of days", at the age of 97.
I have written about Mr. Zamperini before on my blog. I call him Mr. Zamperini because of the great respect I have for him but I also call him "Louie" because I feel as if I know him. I never met the man but I feel as if I have lost a treasured friend. "Be Hardy", is what he wrote in my copy of "Devil At My Heels".
In 2004, I read the book, "Devil At My Heels". I was so moved by it that I wrote a letter to the publisher and asked them to please let Louie Zamperini know how much I loved his story and to please convey that to him. Imagine my surprise and delight when I received a letter from Mr. Zamperini himself! He actually sent me a note to tell me that Laura Hillenbrand was writing a book about him. Due to her illness (she has chronic fatigue syndrome) it took seven years for her to finish it. I would suggest reading "Devil At My Heels" first and then, read "Unbroken". The second book goes into such detail about his Louie, his family, his very good friends and his war buddies, which you will already know from the first book.
Louie Zamperini completely changed his life after attending a Billy Graham Crusade in California in the early days of Billy Graham's ministry, in the late 1940's. In his own words, Louie said he was "bubbling over with joy". I don't know how much Angelina Jolie (the director of the movie, "Unbroken") will focus on Mr. Zamperini's Christian faith, but I am hoping that even when it is not mentioned that it will be there for all to see and witness, just as it was in his long life.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith 2 Timothy 4:7
"An old man and full of days", do you recognize that? It is from the Bible, the last words from the Book of Job and it is the first thing I thought of when I heard that he had passed away.
Happy 4th of July to all my American friends, and a happy 4th of July to all my other friends in the world too!! (I know you might think we call it Independence Day, but we don't, we just call it the 4th of July!)
Oh Beautiful for heroes proved...