Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Flags of our Father's Part II

I'm sure you're wondering how long it takes me to read a book. Usually, not that long, but since I have not been reading on a regular basis well, obviously I won't get my book read.

This past memorial weekend I went to visit my friend Danielle and her fiance down in Los Angeles. I was excited and nervous all at the same time. Los Angeles is the Mecca of film and television, but at the same time, it's also a whole new world of ethnicities, races and vegetation. My pine trees were replaced by palm trees, and my shrubs were replaced by cacti. My small city was replaced my 4-6 lane freeways and all the white people I'm used to seeing, were replaced by a mixture of blacks, asians, middle easterners and latinos. The architecture was different too, a mixture of European and Spanish terra cotta.

Anyway, my point was that I'd have a two hour plane ride that would force me to read, so I took with me Flags of our Fathers'. I'm sure it looked a bit funny to see a late twenties latina reading a book about WWII. Usually you'd think it be a military dude or a geeky historian. Truth is, I am a geeky historian, I just don't quite look like one. US history fascinates me at all different time periods. People's stories fascinate me which is what, to me, history is, and should be about. We should be telling everyone's different story, no matter how horrendous because history is in the eye of the beholder and I think a lot of people could learn to empathize and sympathize from people that are not like them, or grew up with a different experience on the same subject matter.

The part of my book I'm at is D-Day +3 and it's one of the most brutal things I've ever read. It's so real and raw. As I was reading it, I could feel the chaos and the panic these young men had to face. The men/children ranged from 14 years old to 24 years old, younger than I am now, seeing their buddies' heads roll of their backs and entrails being blown apart along with legs arms. Ay. Gosh, I really don't know how to respond to what I've read except keep reading, learning and honoring our veterans for what they did by doing what I do right now, read about their stories.

1 comment:

Kristin said...

This book sounds brutal, but good. I'd like to read more books about history and the world. I didn't get into history back in high school, but I think I'd like it now, on my own terms.