Honoring veterans on Memorial Day

Memorial Day is quickly approaching, and there will be many events and programs in the area for the public to attend and honor our veterans. This holiday is a time of reflection and remembrance. Learning more about the different wars and engagements the United States has been a part of can help you more fully understand the sacrifice that our veterans have given. The following are a few selections from the library’s collection that shed light on some of the wars from the last hundred years.

“The Pity of War” by Niall Ferguson

In this volume, Ferguson examines World War I. In vivid prose and an engaging writing style, Ferguson explores the key questions about the war. Ferguson also looks into the bloody combat strategy that took double the lives of American soldiers as in Vietnam. Learn about this sometime overlooked war and the immense sacrifice of the Americans that fought in it.

“War Stories” by Elizabeth Mullener

Journalist Elizabeth Mullener spent twelve years gathering eyewitness accounts of most of the major events of World War II and has compiled those 53 stories into this book. These eyewitnesses were not Generals or decision-makers; rather they were the young men in the foxholes or young women working in the hospitals. Their first-hand accounts provide an authentic and organic look at one of the most central events of the twentieth century.

“The Korean War” by Brian Catchpole

Brian Catchpole goes back to 1950 to provide a comprehensive and gripping account of this conflict that waged for three years between 1950 and 1953. Catchpole consulted both living veterans and their writings, and their strong voices speak clearly through the text.

“Letters from Vietnam” edited by Bill Adler

This unforgettable collection contains hundreds of letters home from the men and women who fought in this highly controversial war. With new insights and imagery from those who were on the frontlines, this title captures a wide spectrum of opinion and emotion, from fervent patriotism to awakening opposition. The letters contained in the book also capture timeless expressions of hope, horror, and faith.

“Heroes Among Us” edited by Major Chuck Larson

Another book that focuses on first-hand accounts, “Heroes Among Us” was compiled and edited by Major Chuck Larson, who served in the U.S. Army in Iraq. Larson currently lives in Des Moines after several years of serving in the Iowa Legislature. His book focuses on accounts of those who served in Iraq or Afghanistan. The book contains their heart wrenching and inspiring firsthand accounts of true grace under fire.

While no book can truly convey the sacrifices of our veterans, they do provide some understanding of what they have gone through. Stop by to check out one of these or the many other history books available at Kendall Young Library.


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