Pipestone County Star 11-06-2014
I come from a line of veterans. My grandfather, from Worthington, Minnesota, served in India during World War II as a veterinarian. My father was a Marine, and though he didn’t serve during a war, he did his patriotic duty. My husband was in the Army and served in Germany, then Iraq for Operation Desert Storm. His parents, in turn, were both in the Air Force and met each other in the service. Veterans Day is a day when we should recognize and celebrate the bravery and sacrifice that soldiers from all branches of the military have made for us. Our soldiers come in all ages, in both sexes, all religions, and all colors. They fought to keep our country free and democratic – to make us what we are today. Make sure to thank them.
Veteran’s Day began as Armistice Day in 1919, the day Woodrow Wilson declared a national holiday to celebrate the end of the first World War. Germany surrendered at 11 AM on November 11, 1918, so it was fitting that we should honor that day. In remembrance, moments of silence are observed and many people, even then, wore red poppies to honor the battle fought among those flowers on Flanders Field, a particularly bloody battle in 1914.
In 1954, following the recovery from World War Two, Armistice Day became Veteran’s Day, to honor all the soldiers who have served our country, not just those from World War One.
The library has several movies that have been critically acclaimed for showing how it was for soldiers. If they interest you, come in and check them out.
Band of Brothers (Vietnam)
This series originally aired on HBO and was hailed as one of the best war series ever made. It was produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg and the library has the complete, 10-part set. There is also a disc that includes a documentary on the Easy Company and several other special features.
The Hurt Locker (Iraq – Kathryn Bigelow)
This movie follows an Explosive Ordinance Disposal team through a tour in Iraq and is one of the grittiest, most engrossing war movies I’ve seen in a long time. It won for both Best Picture and Best Director in the 2010 Academy Awards. I’ve never seen a movie that portrayed war as a drug, but Bigelow did an excellent job proving that for me.
The War (World War II – Ken Burns)
A quarter of this film centers on the community of Luverne, Minnesota, where the movie was originally screened. This set contains all seven parts of the documentary, as well as numerous special features. It lasts for 15 hours and took six years of work. The object of the documentary was to show how to war affected those left at home and Burns uses four different towns in the United States to paint a picture of life during those years.
Flags of Our Fathers (World War II – Clint Eastwood)
This movie, directed by Academy Award Winner Clint Eastwood and nominated for Oscars itself, show the American side of the Battle of Iwo Jima.
And if you don’t feel like watching a movie or the television, the library has a huge selection of books, both fiction and non-fiction, depicting the wars this country has fought. I don’t have space to list them all, but here are two that may spark interest.
The Dardanelles Disaster by Dan Van Der Vat (World War I)
In 1915, the British Navy failed to capture Constantinople and through there, a sea route to Russia. Van Der Vat is a naval military historian who writes that this failure not only prolonged the war, but led to the Russian Revolution and contributed to the destabilization in the Middle East. The book is fascinating and enlightening and a must read for any military historian and others interested.
Soul Survivor by Bruce and Andrea Leininger(World War II – and the Present)
This book might be a bit beyond what would normally be considered war-related, but you’ll have to bear with me. About a year ago, a young man appeared on Oprah with his parents, who had a very odd story to tell. That story is chronicled in this book and gives rise to questions of reincarnation. Was James Leininger a reincarnated World War II pilot? As a toddler, James would say and do things that led his parents to an incredible discovery.
Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand (World War II)
This is one of the most popular books in the library, and is an extraordinary story. As a young man, Louis Zamperini was a juvenile delinquent who managed to channel himself into running and ran all the way to the Berlin Olympics. When the war started, Zamperini became and airman. One May afternoon, his life changed dramatically when his plane went down in the ocean. Despite all odds, he survived on a life raft, but ahead of him lay thousands of miles of open ocean. The book is amazing and definitely worth the read.
To all the veterans reading this article, I salute you. My salute may not be as crisp as my husband’s, my father’s, or my grandfather’s, but I salute you just the same. From infantryman to general, thank you for serving our country. We would not be the America we are today without you.
PAFL Update: Pipestone Area Friends of the Library is looking for members – anyone who is a friend to Meinders Library is welcome to join! The Friends group works hard to promote the library, raise money for projects, and organize their yearly book sale, in addition to the HUGE amount of support they provide throughout the year. Call for the date of their next meeting.
If you have questions or have a book you’d like to reserve or renew, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (507) 825-6714. The hours for Meinders Library are Monday through Thursday from 10 AM – 8 PM, and Friday and Saturday from 10 AM – 5 PM. Meinders Community Library is located at 1401 7th Street SW, on the south side of the high school.