While Memorial Day 2020 is just about over, there is never a bad time to remember those who have served our country and are no longer with us. One of the ways you can honor the fallen is by learning about their story. From the Battle of France to the mountains of Afghanistan, the battles recounted in these standout American military memoirs are harrowing reminders of why we celebrate Memorial Day.
“From D-Day to victory in World War II with the men of Easy Company: Utah Beach, Market-Garden, the Bulge, and on to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest in Berchtesgaden. They came together, citizen soldiers, in the summer of 1942, drawn to Airborne by the $50 monthly bonus and a desire to be better than the other guy. And at its peak — in Holland and the Ardennes — Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army, was as good a rifle company as any in the world. From the rigorous training in Georgia in 1942 to the disbanding in 1945, esteemed WWII historian Stephen Ambrose tells the story of this remarkable company. In combat, the reward for a job well done is the next tough assignment, and as they advanced through Europe, the men of Easy kept getting the tough assignments, from parachuting into France early D-Day morning to capturing Hitler’s Barvarian outpost. Band of Brothers is a story of the men who fought, of the martinet they hated who trained them well, and of the captain they loved who led them. E Company was a company of men who went hungry, froze, and died for each other, a company that took 150 percent casualties, a company where the Purple Heart was not a medal — it was a badge of office.”
“In 2009, Clinton Romesha of Red Platoon and the rest of the Black Knight Troop were preparing to shut down Command Outpost (COP) Keating, the most remote and inaccessible in a string of bases built by the US military in Nuristan and Kunar in the hope of preventing Taliban insurgents from moving freely back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three years after its construction, the army was finally ready to concede what the men on the ground had known immediately: it was simply too isolated and too dangerous to defend. On October 3, 2009, after years of constant smaller attacks, the Taliban finally decided to throw everything they had at Keating. The ensuing fourteen-hour battle—and eventual victory—cost eight men their lives. Red Platoon is the riveting firsthand account of the Battle of Keating, told by Romesha, who spearheaded both the defense of the outpost and the counterattack that drove the Taliban back beyond the wire and received the Medal of Honor for his actions.”
“In November 1965, some 450 men of the First Battalion, Seventh Cavalry, under the command of Lt. Col. Harold Moore, were dropped into a small clearing in the Ia Drang Valley. They were immediately surrounded by 2,000 North Vietnamese soldiers. Three days later, only two and a half miles away, a sister battalion was brutally slaughtered. Together, these actions at the landing zones X-Ray and Albany constituted one of the most savage and significant battles of the Vietnam War. They were the first major engagements between the US Army and the People’s Army of Vietnam. How these Americans persevered – sacrificing themselves for their comrades and never giving up – creates a vivid portrait of war at its most devastating and inspiring.”
There is plenty more where that came from! By using our reading apps, CloudLibrary, Hoopla, *OverDrive, and rbDigital, you have totally free access to thousands of audiobooks, eBooks, and documentaries that can help you observe Memorial Day. To start, just follow the links in bold above and have your library card ready!
*FTPL patrons will have access to OverDrive until June 30th, 2020. Access has been graciously provided by the Somerset County Library System. Please click here to learn more.
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