We were saddened to learn on Thursday about the death of Louis Zamperini, a relatively unknown man who lived a great life.
In the 1930s he was a track star who competed in the 5,000-meter run at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
He was a bombardier in the Second World War when his U.S. Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean during a reconnaissance flight in April, 1943. He drifted on a raft for 47 days with the two other surviving members of the flight before reaching the Marshall Islands, where they captured by the Japanese navy.
He then spent two years as a prisoner of war at Ofuna, surviving torture until the war ended.
But that was not the end of a remarkable life. He married his wife Cynthia in 1946 and they were together until she died in 2001.
He also strongly believed in forgiveness and eventually met with many of the guards who had tormented him, throwing his arms around each.
He died in Los Angeles on Tuesday at age 97 of pneumonia.
Sadly, he won’t see “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” a film directed by Angelina Jolie about his life that will come out in December.
The movie won’t define this remarkable man but it will bring him to wider acclaim, something we’re grateful for.
Prince Albert Daily Herald