Veteran's Day reading and viewing
I hope all are having a happy Veterans Day -- especially my favorite veteran: my dad, Emanuel Rosenthal. His Army unit -- the 83rd Infantry, also known as the Thunderbolt or Ohio division -- had a memorable and historic push through Europe beginning in the summer of 1944. They moved through Normandy in the days after D-Day, fought in the breakout from Normandy, and rushed across France, only to be caught up in the horrific Battle of the Bulge in Belgium. The division later pushed into Germany, and was involved in liberating a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp.
It's hard for me to imagine the thoughtful, soft-spoken man I grew up with as a warrior. But he was like most of the men and women who fought in World War II and other wars -- he never made a big deal about his service to the country. I've visited some of the places his division passed through in France and Belgium, but he never showed much interest in going there himself. In recent years -- he'll celebrate his 90th birthday this month -- he has talked about it a bit more, but only when pressed with questions.
So in that same spirit, on this Veteran's Day, I'll recommend the documentary "Restrepo," or the companion book "War" by Sebastian Junger, both very human looks at soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. To a one -- even a future Medal of Honor recipient -- they showed a selflessness and dedication that is remarkable under such grueling conditions.