From the Beacon: Recommendations for Veterans Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the guns fell silent, marking an end to World War I. This became Armistice Day. In 1954, Congress passed a bill, which President Dwight Eisenhower signed into law, to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

Beaufort County is home to many veterans and active duty service members. Regardless of political persuasion, we all understand that we owe them and their families a debt of gratitude. The Beaufort County Public Library System has a great selection of materials to honor our veterans and mark the observance of Veterans Day. I recommend the following for a better perspective on the significance of Veterans Day:

"The Gift of Valor; A War Story" by Michael M. Phillips: Marine Cpl. Jason Dunham was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Iraq on April 14, 2004. Written by a Wall Street Journal reporter, this book is the story of Dunham's life and the sequence of events on that fateful day.

"Lone Survivor; The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10" by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson: Luttrell was a Navy SEAL who was deployed to Afghanistan with his team for a special operation. What transpired was one of the most amazing stories of survival that you will ever read. You will learn about the rigors of Navy SEAL training and the lives and insights of the men who strive to become SEALS. The book's focus is on the men of SEAL Team 10, one of whom was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

"Escape from the Deep; The Epic Story of a Legendary Submarine and Her Courageous Crew" by Alex Kershaw: During World War II, the USS Tang was one of the most decorated submarines in the United States Navy. In late 1944, it was conducting operations in the Formosa Strait when disaster struck. The crew that survived had to endure a Japanese POW Camp and the brutal treatment from their captors. This is also a story of submarine warfare during World War II, the conditions aboard a submarine during long periods of time underwater, and the men who served in such conditions.

"Final Salute; A Story of Unfinished Lives" by Jim Sheeler: When a soldier dies, the Department of Defense has a certain protocol it follows regarding notification of the next of kin. The author of this book writes about the life and work of a casualty notification officer throughout a period of two years. This is an important read for everyone, as it tells about ultimate sacrifice and the terrible cost that military families have to endure.

"The Medal of Honor; A Commemoration of South Carolina Recipients" edited by Capt. Caroline Watson (reference only): This is an excellent resource for historical information on our nation's wars and biographical information on the award winners, including those who have been given the Medal of Honor Citation.

If you're looking for books on CD, you might want to check out: "The Father of All Things; A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam" by Tom Bissell, "The Day of Battle" by Rick Atkinson, "Brotherhood of Heroes; The Marines at Peleliu, 1944" by Bill Sloan; "An Album of Memories: Personal Histories from the Greatest Generation" by Tom Brokaw.

Any of our reference librarians will be happy to assist you in finding your way through these truly American stories.