This morning at our local diner, I was privileged to meet, and thank, WW II Veteran, Lou: Aged 92, Lou flew aboard B24s and B29s, still drives himself around, and apart from a stick, needs no help moving about. I salute you, sir, and long may you live.
Few as the WW II survivors are today, the author of this book, Richard Rubin, set himself the much harder task in 2003 of tracking down the last surviving WW I vets and collecting their stories. It took him months just to find his first surviving WW I vet, but eventually managed to network his way to dozens of these heroes, aged 101 to 113 at the time, all of whom are now gone. This book is his testament to their greatness.
From the Amazon review:
They were the final survivors of the millions who made up the American Expeditionary Forces, nineteenth-century men and women living in the twenty-first century. Self-reliant, humble, and stoic, they kept their stories to themselves for a lifetime, then shared them at the last possible moment, so that they, and the World War they won – the trauma that created our modern world – might at last be remembered. You will never forget them. The Last of the Doughboys is more than simply a war story: It is a moving meditation on character, grace, aging, and memory.
This book is just released, and all the reviews so far have been 4 and 5 stars –
take a look!
H/T Mar-Mar, who read about the book in the Globe.