A little piece from the book Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
“Louie had been on Kwajalein for about a week when his cell door was thrown open and two guards pulled him out. He flushed with fear, thinking tht he was being taken to the sword. As he was hustled toward what seemed to be an officers’ quarters, he passed tow girls with Asian features, walking with heads down, eyes averted, as they retreated from the building. Louie was pulled into a room and stopped before a table covered with a white tablecloth, on which was arranged a selection of foods. Around it sat Japanese officers in dress uniforms, smoking cigaretes. Louie wasn’t here to be executed. He was hert to be interrogated.
The officers took long draws on thei cigarettes and sighed the smoke toward Louie. Periodically, one of them would open a bottle of cola, pour it int a cup, and drink it slowly, making a show of his enjoyment. The ranking officer started coolly at his captive. How do American soldiers satisfy their sexual appetites? he asked. Louie replied that they dont’–they rely on willpower. The officers was amused. The Japanese militarty, he said, provides women for its soldiers, and allusion to the thousands of Chinese, Korean, Indonesian, and Filipino women whom the Japanese military had kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery. Louie thought of the girls outside. “
This is an excerpt from a book I’m currently reading called “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand
“That evening, Phil heard a small voice. It was Mac, asking Louie if he was going to die. Louie looked over at Mac, who was watching him. Louie thought it would be disrespectful to lie to mac, who might have something that he needed to say or do before life left him. Louie told him that he thought he’d die that night. Mac had no reaction. Phil and Louie lay down, put their arms around Mac, and went to sleep. Sometime that night, Louie was lifted from sleep by a breathy sound, a deep outrushing of air, slow and final. He knew what it was.
Sergeant Francis McNamara had begun his last journey with a panicked act, consuming the rafts’ precious food stores, and in doing so, he had placed himself and his raft mates in the deepest jeopardy. But in the last days of his life, in the struggle against the deflating raft and the jumping sharks, he had given all he had left. It wasn’t enough to save him–it had probably hastened his death–but it may have made the difference between life and death for Phil and Louie. Had Mac not survived the crash, Louie and Phil might well have been dead by that thirty-third day. In his dying days, Mac had redeemed himself. ”
Let this story remind us all, that no matter our past mistakes, it is not too late to do good and right now. Start now! You never know what you may save,…or who.
Francis Mcnamara on May 26, 1943, the day before the crash. (Courtesy of Louis Zamperini)