Louis Zamperini is a fitting choice to be the Grand Marshal for the annual Rose Parade as a true hero. It is unfortunate that he died 6 months before he was able to lead the way for the most celebrated parade in the world at the age of 97. The story of Louis Zamperini is now reaching a global audience via Laura Hillenbrand’s best-selling 2010 book “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.” Zamperini’s story was really meant for the big screen, but it has taken a half century to make. The original story rights were bought in 1957 by Universal Pictures and Tony Curtis wanted the lead role. But then the project stalled, only to be picked up again by director Angelina Jolie, released Christmas Day, 2014.
Louis Zamperini endured remarkable hardship with bravery and courage with a stubbornness that pushed him to prevail against all odds. He recounts the most important theme of his life as redemption. Zamperini returned from the war a broken man, filled with anger, rage and revenge. He turned to drinking, which even put his marriage at risk. His wife, Cynthia, upon threatening to divorce him, urged him to come and hear a young blonde evangelist named Billy Graham. Graham’s message touched his heart and changed his life completely around.
Louis Zamperini went on to forgive his former captors as well as open a camp for troubled boys. Luke Zamperini said of his father, “I hope people walk away (from Zamperini’s story) inspired and knowing they can overcome insurmountable odds if they don’t give up or give in.” That is also my wish for you. Don’t give up on your goals because truly, there is a hero inside you! (lyrics to song below)
The Hero Inside album available on Amazon, CD Baby or iTunes
Subscribe to Facebook Musician Page & Monthly Newsletter! ©Deborah Johnson • Twitter: @DJWorksMusic • www.DJWorksMusic.com “Hardship, Valor & Redemption,” by Donna Littlejohn, Pasadena’s Rose Magazine (2015) p. 8-10
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