Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley

You know, I have never really been a big history buff. I’ve honestly never been interested in military history and never really held an interest in previous world wars so it seems a little strange that I’m talking about this book. I bought this book because I was desperately trying to find something to read a couple years ago. I just finished the second reading of this book and enjoyed it just as much as the first time.

James Bradley was the son of John Bradley, one of the famous flagraisers in the photograph on the book’s cover. You recognize the photograph, it’s been displayed in so many ways and in so many places that it is an integral part of American displays of pride throughout the 20th century. Well, this book lays to rest alot of the myths surrounding the picture and gives the life stories of all 6 flagraisers before joining the Marines and fighting on Iwo Jima…The 6 flagraisers were; Mike, Harlon, Ira, Doc, Franklin and Rene. I don’t put their last names here because after reading this book, James Bradley has given such a thorough story of their lives that you feel like you knew them personally. If a book on the glories of war is what you’re looking for, then this is not your story. This story is narrated with a very anti-war sentiment. It is graphic in scenes, it is tearjerking in others. This story is an amazing read and should make you appreciative of what you have. Unfortunately, too many people alive today have no idea the sacrifices that our previous generations have made for us. These same people prefer to live in a bubble and be completely self-absorbed, giving no thought to those from an older generation that have seen and heard more than we would ever want to.

Have you thanked a Veteran today? If not, you should. Upon finishing my first read 2 years ago,I happened to see a gentleman wearing a hat that displayed the fact that he was a Veteran of World War II in the Pacific. I walked straight up to him and thanked him for his sacrifices. Go thank one yourself, it’s crucial for us to appreciate those people. After reading this book and seeing how vicious the Japanese soldiers fought, you’ll be left shaking your head and will be truly happy for what you have.

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