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Honoring Veterans

Two days have been set aside to honor the memory of those who have served America in the armed forces:

The resources below are a good way to learn about our nation's armed conflicts and honor the memory of those who served to protect our nation.

Women Veterans

America's first woman warrior: the courage of Deborah Sampson by Lucy Freeman and Alma Halbert Bond — The biography of the only woman soldier to fight in the Revolutionary War. [[b1122647|Former service women — WASPs, WACs, WAVEs, Marines, Army and Navy nurses, cooks, clerks, OSS intelligence officers, and others — offer firsthand accounts of their experiences overseas.

Letters and War Correspondence

Ernie's war: the best of Ernie Pyle's World War II dispatches by edited with a biographical essay by David Nichols ; foreword by Studs Terkel — A collection of the best of preeminent war correspondent Pyle's columns, complete with datelines, photographs and historical notes.

For our beloved country: American war diaries from the Revolution to the Persian Gulf by edited by Speer Morgan and Greg Michalson — The life of the ordinary soldier as seen through seven eyewitness accounts of America's major wars.

Here is your war: story of G.I. Joe by Ernie Pyle ; introduction to the Bison Books edition by Orr Kelly ; drawings by Carol Johnson — Pyle's writings from the North African campaign of World War II give a close-up look at what life was like for the average soldier. Originally published in 1943.

War letters: extraordinary correspondence from American wars by edited by Andrew Carroll ; foreword by Douglas Brinkley — One-hundred-fifty letters spanning 130 years of warfare, from the Civil War to Bosnia, mostly from the uncelebrated soldiers of the barracks, trenches and foxholes, as well as from combat journalists and nurses.

Soldiers at War

Americans at war by Stephen E. Ambrose — Noted historian Ambrose recounts the histories of the Civil War, Korea, Vietnam, World War II and the Cold War in this compelling narrative about the American way of war.

An army at dawn: the war in North Africa, 1942-1943 by Rick Atkinson — A comprehensive look at the 1942-1943 Allied invasion of North Africa and an engrossing, extremely accessible account of a grim and too-often overlooked military campaign. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.

Band of brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne: from Normandy to Hitler's Eagle's nest by Stephen E. Ambrose — The horrifying saga of Easy Company — combat paratroopers circa 1941-45 — from basic training to D-Day, to the Battle of the Bulge, and finally to the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.

Bataan: a survivor's story by Gene Boyt with David L. Burch ; foreword by Gregory J.W. Urwin — One of the last accounts to come from a Bataan survivor, Boyt's story details the infamous Bataan Death March and his subsequent 42 months in Japanese internment camps.

Beyond the battlefield: the ordinary life and extraordinary times of the Civil War soldier by edited by David Madden — Using personal stories, letters, songs, prayers, diaries and vintage photographs, this authoritative volume looks at camp conditions, games and sports, food and cooking, prison camps, and much more.

Beyond valor: World War II's Ranger and Airborne veterans reveal the heart of combat by Patrick K. O'Donnell — More than 100 individual veterans' vignettes are drawn from oral histories in this collection of firsthand accounts of the WWII American Airborne, Ranger and other special units.

Black Hawk down: a story of modern war by Mark Bowden — A detailed account of the 1993 operation in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Blue-eyed child of fortune: the Civil War letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw by edited by Russell Duncan — Nearly 200 letters written by the Civil War hero reveal his initial reluctance to accept the command of the North's first Black Regiment, and his subsequent change of heart.

Brothers in arms: the epic story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII's forgotten heroes by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Anthony Walton — Known as "The Black Panthers," the 761st Battalion was the first all-black tank battalion to see combat in the war. While most American units fought on the front for one to two weeks before being rotated back, the courageous men of the 761st served for more than 183 consecutive days, fighting under Patton's Third Army at the Battle of the Bulge, helping to turn back the German offensive and cut off German supply lines.

Citizen soldiers: the U.S. Army from the Normandy beaches to the Bulge to the surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944-May 7, 1945 by Stephen E. Ambrose — The story of how American G.I.s battled their way to the Rhineland, focusing on the combat experiences of ordinary soldiers.

The coldest war: a memoir of Korea by James Brady — Although more than 54,000 Americans died in it, the "forgotten war" in Korea is little known beyond reruns of M.A.S.H. On the 50th anniversary of this conflict, Brady recounts his experiences as a Marine on the front lines.

The coldest winter: America and the Korean War by David Halberstam — In his massive and powerful history of the Korean War, Halberstam GIs and generals describe their coldest winter and the bloody, losing battle fought in November 1950 in the snow-covered mountains of North Korea by outnumbered American GIs and Marines against the Chinese Communist Army.

Faith of my fathers by John McCain with Mark Salter — Remarkable memoir of the naval aviator turned U.S. Senator who was shot down over North Vietnam and spent several years in POW camps.

The Fighting First: the untold story of the Big Red One on D-Day by Flint Whitlock — The inspiring story of the American soldiers in the United States Army's 1st Infantry Division and their role in the D-Day invasion of France at Normandy, followed by their fight across France, Belgium and into Germany.

Flags of our fathers by James Bradley with Ron Powers — The story of the six men who raised the American flag on the flank of Mount Suribachi during the battle of Iwo Jima.

For cause and comrades: why men fought in the Civil War by James M. McPherson — An exploration of the 19th century soldier's mind, drawn from more than one-thousand letters and diaries of both Union and Confederate soldiers.

The greatest generation by Tom Brokaw — From military heroes to community leaders to ordinary Americans, Brokaw profiles the men and women who served their country with valor, then came home and transformed America.

In the company of soldiers: a chronicle of combat by Rick Atkinson — The advent of embedded reporters in the opening days of the 2003 U.S. war on Iraq meant a more direct and personal point of view than battlefield coverage has historically offered. Rick Atkinson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for An Army at Dawn, traveled with the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army from its deployment out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky through its entry into Baghdad. The result is a thoroughly engrossing look at the strategies, personalities and struggles of waging modern warfare.

Kilroy was there: a GI's war in photographs by Tony Hillerman ; photos from the collection of Frank Kessler — The photographs of Frank Kessler, a GI in the Army's Signal Corps during World War II, make ordinary images of war significant, capturing the up-close wreckage and misery of what the men in rifle companies and tank units struggled through. Featuring commentary by World War II veteran and best-selling author Tony Hillerman.

The last stand of the tin can sailors by James D. Hornfischer — Based on eyewitness accounts, declassified Navy documents, and interviews and correspondence with veterans, this epic account chronicles the October 1944 battle off Samar in the Philippines, between a vastly outnumbered fleet of American warships and a flotilla of the Japanese Navy - a battle that changed the course of World War II in the Pacific.

The longest winter: the Battle of the Bulge and the epic story of WWII's most decorated platoon by Alex Kershaw — This inspiring story of heroism during World War II follows a tiny platoon of American soldiers, who after miraculously repelling three major German assaults, find themselves facing an ordeal worse than combat in a nightmarish POW camp.

The man who flew the Memphis Belle: memoir of a WWII bomber pilot by Robert Morgan, with Ron Powers — Made famous by a 1990 movie, this is the inspiring story of a "Flying Fortress" pilot during World War II.

The march up: taking Baghdad with the 1st Marine Division by Bing West & Ray L. Smith — An eyewitness history of the 1st Marine Division in the Iraq War.

On the altar of freedom: a black soldier's Civil War letters from the front by James Henry Gooding ; edited by Virginia Matzke Adams ; foreword by James M. McPherson — An unforgettable portrait of the Civil War as seen through the letters written by a Black soldier in the Massachusetts 54th Regiment (made famous in the movie, Glory, available as a DVD).

Return with honor by Scott O'Grady ; with Jeff Coplon — The inspiring tale of the U.S. Air Force captain who was shot down over Bosnia and managed to survive and evade capture.

Sergeant York: an American hero by David D. Lee — Biography of the World War I soldier who single-handedly killed or captured 157 German soldiers during the Battle of Argonne.

Special forces: a guided tour of U.S. Army Special Forces by Tom Clancy, written with John Gresham — Comprehensive overview of the U.S. Army Special Forces, describing how they are recruited, trained and assigned.

To hell and back by Audie Murphy ; foreword by Tom Brokaw — Murphy's compelling narrative of his time as an infantryman in WWII Europe. He eventually became the war's most decorated G.I.

The wild blue: the men and boys who flew the B-24s over Germany by Stephen E. Ambrose — A vivid study of the air war in Europe during World War II.

Yankee Doodle boy: a young soldier's adventures in the American Revolution by told by himself ; edited by George F. Scheer ; with maps & illustrations by Victor Mays — The story of Revolutionary battles and campaigns by a soldier who enlisted at age 15 and served seven years with George Washington's Continental Army.

Yanks: the epic story of the American Army in World War I by John S.D. Eisenhower with Joanne Thompson Eisenhower — The challenges, victories, sacrifices and long-term consequences of the American Expeditionary Force in Europe during WWI.

Documentaries

America over there [videodisc]: the United States in World War I, 1917-18 by United States of America War Office, United States of America Navy Department — Originally produced as a motion picture in 1927, this production spotlights America's involvement in World War I from 1917-18.

The Great War 1918 [videodisc] — Part of the PBS series The American Experience, this program highlights the story of United States soldiers in the closing battle of WWI, using film clips, diaries and letters from figures such as John J. Pershing, Alvin York and Harry S. Truman.

Korean War stories [videodisc] by a production of New Voyage Communications — Veterans share their stories of the "forgotten war." Interviewees include John Glenn and Ted Williams.

Feature Films

Andersonville [videodisc] by Turner Pictures presents a John Frankenheimer/David W. Rintels film — This docudrama records the harrowing conditions at the Confederacy's most notorious prisoner-of-war camp. The drama unfolds through the eyes of a company of Union soldiers captured at the Battle of Cold Harbor, Virginia, in June 1864, and shipped to the camp in southern Georgia. Directed by John Frankenheimer. Starring Jarrod Emick and Frederic Forrest.

Battleground [videodisc] by Loew's Incorporated — This dramatization of the battles of Bastogne and the Bulge in the waning days of World War II concentrates on a single infantry unit. Starring Van Johnson and John Hodiak.

The best years of our lives [videodisc] by [presented by] Samuel Goldwyn [Pictures Corporation] — The postwar classic about the difficult readjustments of returning WWII veterans. It received Oscars for Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actor.

The big red one [videodisc] by Lorimar presents a Samuel Fuller film — Follows the First Infantry Division from Africa to Europe during the years 1942 through 1945. The squad is led by a gruff, unyielding sergeant, who taunts and terrorizes his four green, frightened soldiers. There are many spooky scenes, including the climactic liberation of a Nazi death camp. Director/writer Samuel Fuller's script is a loosely connected series of vignettes, based on his own World War II experiences. Starring Lee Marvin and Mark Hamill.

The crossing [videodisc] by Arts & Entertainment Network ; Chris/Rose Productions ; Columbia TriStar Television — The story of one of the most unexpected triumphs of the Revolutionary War — George Washington's surprise attack on the British on Christmas Day. Features Jeff Daniels as George Washington.

The fighting Sullivans [videodisc] by 20th Century Fox — A fine tribute to the five Sullivan brothers who died together when the ship to which they were all assigned went down in the Pacific during WWII.

Flags of our fathers [videodisc] by DreamWorks SKG ; Warner Bros. Pictures ; Amblin Entertainment ; Malpaso Productions — The life stories of the five Marines and one Naval officer that were forever immortalized as a symbol of WWII by raising the American flag at the battle of Iwo Jima. Starring Ryan Phillippe and Barry Pepper. Directed by Clint Eastwood.

Glory [videodisc] — Two idealistic young Bostonians lead the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry — America's first Black regiment of the Civil War.

The longest day [videodisc] by distributed by Twentieth Century Fox — All-star recreation of the D-Day invasion of France in 1944 from the perspectives of both sides.

Sands of Iwo Jima [videodisc] by Republic Pictures Corporation — Story of a relentlessly tough Marine (John Wayne) training a squad of naive, rebellious recruits at a New Zealand military station in 1943.

Saving Private Ryan [videodisc] by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures present an Amblin Entertainment production in association with Mutual Film Company — A powerful, realistic recreation of the D-Day invasion and the immediate aftermath, starring Tom Hanks.

Sergeant York [videodisc] by Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc. presents a Howard Hawks production ; a Warner Bros.-First National picture — Inspirational biography of Alvin York, the most decorated U.S. soldier in World War I. Best Actor Oscar for Gary Cooper.

The story of G.I. Joe [videorecording] by Video-Cinema Films, Inc. ; Lester Cowan Productions, Inc. ; produced by Lester Cowan ; directed by William Wellman ; screenplay by Leopold Atlas, Guy Endore, Philip Stevenson — Considered by many veterans to be the most realistic war film of the 1940s. Based on the columns of war correspondent Ernie Pyle and stars Robert Mitchum.

Thirty seconds over Tokyo [videodisc] by Metro-Goldwyn- Mayer — Story of the 1941 raid on Japan led by Col. James Doolittle, as seen through the eyes of one of the bomber pilots.

Twelve o'clock high [videodisc] by Twentieth Century-Fox — Portrays the pressures of war through the story of a group of fatigued Air Force bombers who are pushed to test themselves — right up until death's door. Starring Gregory Peck.

Websites

  • American Battle Monuments Commission — The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) was established by Congress in 1923 to commemorate the service, achievements and sacrifice of U.S. armed forces where they have served overseas since 1917. This website provides links to the cemeteries and memorials around the world which honor American servicemen and women
  • American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky (National Park Service) — The story of America's historic battlefields, forts, ships, aircraft, etc., beginning with the first shots of the Revolutionary War up until the late 1950s
  • Buffalo Soldiers National Museum — Comprehensive site for information about America's Black soldiers and the wars in which they served
  • The History of Memorial Day — An overview of the holiday from the History Channel
  • The History of Veteran's Day — A chronology of the holiday from the U.S. Army
  • Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America — Founded in June 2004, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America is the nation's first and largest group dedicated to the troops and veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the civilian supporters of those troops and veterans
  • Medals of Honor (U.S. Army Center for Military History) — Complete listing of more than 3,400 Medal of Honor winners from 1861 to the present
  • Memorial Day History — The website on which this page appears "was created to help promote the return of the original intent and meaning back to Memorial Day."
  • Memories of War — A website for World War II veterans to preserve and share their memories and stories
  • Military Women Veterans: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow — The history and accomplishments of millions of women veterans from the American Revolution to the present day
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial Around the World — Links to memorials to the Vietnam veteran across the United States and around the world
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall Page — Dedicated to honoring those Americans who died in the Vietnam War
  • U.S. Department of Defense — Links to information and websites dealing with all branches of the U.S. military
  • WWII U.S. Veterans — Created by a WWII Navy veteran of the Pacific Theater, this site has links to the WWII Veterans Memorial Museum, information on reunions, books, collectibles and more