Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is close upon us. For many, this day signifies the start of summer; but it’s much more than that. It’s a special day to remember all the members of the armed forces that have served and died for our country. Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.

This Memorial Day marks the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. The city of Southfield will commemorate Memorial Day on Friday, May 22 at 9 a.m. on the front steps of Southfield City Hall, 26000 Evergreen Road. For more information, please click on this link:

To honor our veterans, the Southfield Library has prepared a list of books from our collection to highlight the courageous and admirable men and women who served and died for freedom:

Freedom flyers : the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II  by J. Todd Moye.  Formally known as the 332rd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Troop, the Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American military pilots. They bravely fought during WWII despite the personal racial discrimination they faced from Jim Crow laws. Moye’s book draws together more than 800 interviews of these former pilots.  Read about the triumphs and challenges of these great men in their own words.

American Sniper by Chris Kyle.  Read the autobiography that inspired the Academy Award Nominated Film. SEALS Chief Christopher Kyle is the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history, with over 150 recorded kills. He served four tours in the Iraq War and was awarded several commendations for his service and heroism. Kyle died in 2013 in Texas, when he was shot and killed by a friend.

Firebrand of liberty : the story of two Black regiments that changed the course of the Civil War by Stephen V. Ash.  This book tells the story of two African American Union regiments that helped change American history. In March 1983, nine hundred African American soldiers invaded Florida and captured Jacksonville. Their bravery led to the freedom of thousands of slaves. Ash uses near-forgotten primary sources to create a vivid re-telling of these men’s struggles so they will not be forgotten.

Side-by-side: a photographic history of American women in war by Vickie Lewis. Check out this great photo album of the brave women who broke barriers and fought for our country. Read their inspirational stories that range from participation in the Revolutionary War to Operation Desert Storm. This book shares the narratives and photographs of women from all of the armed forces as they share their experiences and perspectives.

Navajo weapon : the Navajo code talkers  by Sally McClain. The Navajo language is difficult to translate. This made it an ideal language for communicating intelligence information quickly and accurately during the war.  This book uses firsthand accounts and Marine Corps documentation to tell the story of how Navajo Marines worked together to create a “code within a code” that the Japanese were never able to break.

We were there: voices of African American veterans from World War II to the war in Iraq by Yvonne Latty.  Latty was inspired to uncover the untold stories of African American soldiers. Interviewing veterans from World War II to the Iraq war, she uncovers a myriad of experiences from generals to prisoners of war. These twelve stories are of ordinary African American men and women who served in extraordinary ways.

The fighting rabbis : Jewish military chaplains and American history by  Albert Isaac Slomovitz. American Jews are not usually associated with warfare. Nor, for that matter, are their rabbis. And yet, Jewish chaplains have played a significant and sometimes heroic role in our nation’s defense. Slomovitz presents the compelling history of Jewish military chaplains and their service during various wars and operations. Also striking are original documents which chronicle the ongoing care and concern by the Jewish community over the last 140 years for their follow Jews, including many new immigrants who entered the armed forces.


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