July 4th means BBQs, family, friends, and a remembrance of the struggles the United States has overcome to emerge as a nation. Here at Lulu, we want to take the opportunity to highlight some of our bravest men and women who work every day to preserve this great nation and the way of life we’ve all come to value so much.
America loves to recognize “heroes” in our culture, often times associating the distinction between soldiers or citizens who perform selfless acts. To honor the many kinds of heroes, we present a sampling of books from the Lulu Bookstore about America, the people who make this country great, and the people who sacrifice to protect and serve us all.
We’ll start off with some touching and powerful memoirs and histories about the wars of the last century we’ve endured.
From Maine to France and Somehow Back Again
John M. Longley was a farm boy from rural Maine who went to France as a teenager to fight in The Great War. Somehow, he survived that hell and returned to Maine, but it was only after his wife died that he opened up at some length to his grandson, Mark D. LeBlanc, about his time in the war. This well-researched book highlights the two years that Longley spent with the 103rd Infantry of the 26th “Yankee” Division. The book includes war documents and maps from the National Archives, local newspaper accounts, links to audio clips of Longley talking about the war, and photographs and tips of locations to visit in France. With a focus on the common soldier, From Maine to France and Somehow Back Again is a lively, evocative account of one man’s fight to survive and his unlikely return home.
The Life History of John Chapman
I tend to categorize the many Pearl Harbor Survivors, the sailors on the ships, the seaplane support sailors, the officers at their base, the child survivors, but John is part of a special category of survivors, he was in the water, in the oil. John was extremely fit and was working part-time as a lifeguard while he was stationed at Pearl Harbor with the USS West Virginia (BB-48). John Chapman was up to his neck in water deep inside the West Virginia, he had a moment where he heard an Angel tell him to take charge. He saved many sailors at Pearl Harbor, more than thirty men just from the West Virginia, he picked up more from the water after he commandeered a boat, saving maybe more than forty lives total during WWII. John was a rescue diver during the war, receiving a 5-gallon can of ice cream for each pilot safely returned to the carrier! John Chapman is also a Korean and Vietnam Veteran. A US Navy deep-sea diver, he held the initial pilings driven on the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor.
In the Company of Marines: A Surgeon Remembers Vietnam
Dr. James Finnegan spent one year in Vietnam during the war as a combat surgeon, including heading a surgical team in Khe Sanh during the famous 77 day siege of that combat base. His stories are personal, unique, and describe a side of the war seldom reported in the media. Each story is based on the true personal experiences of a physician who himself received a Purple Heart for wounds he sustained in action.
While it’s not only important to take a moment to thank all of those who fought for our country, we also want to acknowledge everyday heroes working among us. These books examine those who work in dangerous and civic fields to help keep every American citizen safe and healthy on a daily basis.
THE HISTORY OF THE DECATUR, ILLINOIS POLICE DEPARTMENT VOLUME 1: 1856 – 1899
This book chronicles the history of policing in a middle-sized city in the Midwestern United States from the mid-1800s through the end of the 19th century. It takes readers along with the police officers as they walk their beats and face the dangers and perils of protecting the community, while dealing with political interference, in the process. A must-read book for historians, law enforcement personnel, Decatur, Illinois history-buffs and U.S. history buffs.
Firefighters Up Close & Personal: A Photo Essay
An “up close and personal” photo essay of members of the San Diego Fire Department, including a tour of the Fire Academy, the fire helicopter, live fire scenes, and department milestones. This book is the culmination of an 18 month in house photo shoot by San Diego photographer Chrissy McGirr. The idea is to show firefighting from a closer vantage point than normally seen so as to understand the actual risk and difficulty of the profession. In addition to action shots are the portraits from after the fire, and few of the lighter moments. A portion of the proceeds from this book will be used for unmet needs for fire department safety equipment and education.
Signs of Life
Come ride along with the crew from Station 4. You’ll respond to heart attacks, gunshot victims, and major car crashes all in a non-stop heart pounding pace. Lives will be changed, lives will be lost and lives will be saved. You have the front row seat to it all. Experience the emotion and drama that plays out in this world we call EMS. Can the men and women who dedicate their lives to this endeavor really make a difference? The answer is yes, and it happens day in and day out, all over the world. Mark Mosier began his paramedic career in 1982. With over 30 years of Advanced Life Support transport experience, he is uniquely qualified to share these incredible stories. He has worked in both the private ambulance sector and as a firefighter paramedic. This career has also included teaching in all areas of pre-hospital care. He is currently working in southern Iraq as a paramedic…but that’s a whole other story.
We hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday! While you’re waiting for the grill to warm up (and you’re grilling smart, of course), consider reading a book about the many heroes in all shapes and sizes that surround us every day.
A final thanks to everyone who works day in and day out to make this country what it is!
Paul is the Content Marketing Manager at Lulu. When he's not entrenched in the publishing and print-on-demand world, he likes to hike the scenic North Carolina landscape, read, sample the fanciest micro-brewed beer, and collect fountain pens. Paul is a dog person but considers himself cat tolerant.