Louis Zamperini

(Not truly Louis Zamperini)

Only one man was targeted, suffering for two and a half years. On January 26, 1917, Louis Silvie Zamperini was born. He and his family lived in Torrance, California. Louis' family were worried about Louis because his energetic spirit involving action and danger, so his brother, Pete, suggested that Louis should think of a different way to release some of his energy. Louis was made by Pete to do track and entered the Olympics. After the Olympics, he enlisted in the U.S. Military. Louis entered the US infantry, but was later transferred to the Air Force. During an attack, Louis flew in the B-24 bomber named "The Green Hornet. It was infamous for its unreliability, and made all of the pilots fear at the thought of piloting the plane. After flying for a short time, the airplane's engines failed and the plane crashed in the middle of the Pacific. After 47 days, of being shot at by Japanese bombers, circled by sharks and losing a man, Louis Zamperini and Russell Phillips were found be the Japanese. Louis illustrates traits that people need to achieve to be labeled as a hero: resilient, determined, and being a leader.

The runner, and war survivor Louis Zamperini truly describes what it means to be resilient. He was taken to a Japanese death camp where he was humiliated and tortured. One of the guards called “The Bird” found interest in Louis and treated him harsher than anyone. "The Bird" would put him through harsh and demeaning tasks, such as doing push ups in human waste, make everyone in the camp punch him with full force, and was given doses of an unknown liquid that itches painfully, which killed 1000 soldiers. One day Louis was tortured cruelly, he was put with thieves that stole to help the men, and the punishment was harsh that he was given punches by all of the prisoners. When each person had done there punches the guards would whack the thieves and Louis with a kendo stick twice in the head (Hillenbrand, 462-464). In the book another example is, “in terrible pain, he took a staggering step off the track, twisted his ankle, then lurched back… still he ran on” (Hillenbrand, 39-40). The resiliency that Louis holds truly shows us what we could be; people who will fight until they achieve what they want although there are many obstacles to face. Even if you are badly hurt you don’t give up until you feel accomplished. We could become more if we had the resiliency that Louis holds; we could go beyond our limits: breaking records, discovering new things, and possibly survive longer in the future.

Determination is what heroes have in them. Louis Zamperini is a great examples of that. He was very focused to become a great runner to impress the world. Louis was expected to make the four minute mile. August 8th, 1936, Louis was qualified for the third heat, only five people could make the finals; he got 5th and after the race he wrote in his diary, “tired as hell” ( Hillenbrand, 51). Another example of determination is, “ if it was edible, Louis stole it. He skulked down alleys, a roll of lock-picking wire in his pocket. House wives who stepped from their kitchens would return to find their suppers had disappeared” (Hillenbrand, 8). Louis illustrates his greed and determination. If you had his determination you would achieve more than usual because you are wanting to do something without giving up until you accomplished your goal. Everyone should follow Louis Zamperini to become better people in the world.

Created By
Amir Katzir

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