I love America. I’m sure you never would have guessed that, lol! But yes, I am a proud American citizen and I thank God for allowing me to be born in the Greatest Nation in the world. (Shouldn’t everyone be able to feel that way about their home?) Today, I want to share a book list of 5 books for Patriotic Americans!
1. Let’s Roll by Lisa Beamer
I promise I won’t fangirl over it here. If you haven’t read my review, you can do so by clicking here. This book helps you put modern American patriotism back into focus. It reminds us of why we are at war in the first place and what we as individuals need to do to keep our country great.
2. & 3. Battle Heroes: Voices from Afghanistan/War Heroes: Voices from Iraq by Allan Zullo
Want your eyes opened to “boots on the ground” operations in the Middle East by the best fighting force on earth? I don’t care if you are a mature adult, this middle grade book needs to be read by you! The youngest I would suggest read it would be 12, since it is a war book. While sensitive, it’s still intense. This book puts a story with the random things we hear about the war. Ever wondered what goes in to defusing an IED? What exactly are native translators capable of, besides translating? Who are the guys serving our country? What are they like? Do they really have a life besides the military? Just read it, please. (Needs minor editing, nothing major.)
4. O To Be Like Thee by Kassie Angle
I know, I know, I talk about this book all the time. But it’s because it is so good! Please, just pick up the book and allow yourself to dive in to this fictional but true to life story. I mean, Kassie has grown up in the Army, so I’m pretty sure she knows what she’s talking about 😉
5. Behind Enemy Lines: Under Fire in the Middle East by Bill Doyle
Okay, so if you’ve ever wanted to read/watch Lone Survivor but wouldn’t because of the language (like me!), you need this book. (I mean, I would probably read it if someone else had edited it, just because I still have a few questions, but that’s just me. But I seriously doubt I could endure the movie, even if the language was edited out. Some things are better read than watched 😉) Among the 8 stories of valor in the Middle East is one titled Operation Redwing…and this was my introduction to Marcus Letrell and the Navy SEALs that served with him. Well, I had read an article about his buddy Danny, but I’d never heard the story of how exactly he died or what happened to his friend that made it through the ambush. Well, now I know! This was written on preteen level, so it’s comprehensive, clean and still quite jarring. Don’t read it right before bed, just saying. But, if you want to gain a deeper understanding to the conditions our boys are going through over there, pick up this quick read and let the story pull you in!
So that’s it for today! Now, hurry along to your library and find these books. Except for Kassie’s. Just order a copy. That’s what you really need to spend your money on! 😉 And no, she didn’t tell me to say that. She knows nothing about this post.
Have a blessed week!
This is the last review in my 9/11 book series. This book was a large picture book that I borrowed from our local library. It was a bit different than I expected…but still an interesting book.
No author listed; compilation
My Review: I thought when I picked up this book that it was going to be a compilation of stories about and by service members, focusing on the War on Terror. Instead, this book was a basic history of 9/11, the War on Terror and humanitarian efforts of the military. Few personal stories and profiles were included; most of the soldier submissions were just talking about their humanitarian assignments and not their actual stories. The book was very informative, but not written in an engaging style.
It was easy to see that the project was more focused on humanitarian efforts and “happy Muslim and American relationships” than on telling the truth about terrorism and our efforts to squash it. A few parts even suggested that the terrorist regime has nothing to do with true Islam/Muslim faith, when in fact it is rooted in the teachings of Muhammad. That bothered me. It wasn’t on every page, but the mature reader will definitely find it hiding in the corners and flavoring the text.
For that reason, I wouldn’t recommend this book, unless you are a mature reader and well grounded in the truth. (Check out Fortress of Faith for many helpful resources on Islam vs. Christianity)
Today, 18 years ago, 19 men committed one of the most infamous crimes in American history. They murdered 2,977 innocent American and foreign people, who were simply going about their daily lives. They all went out into eternity…some to heaven, some to hell, having never received God’s gift of Salvation. But…have we forgotten?
Those who don’t learn from History are apt to repeat it.
I used to work on a bus route at my church before we went on the road full time for FBN. All of my riders were born after 9/11…and none of them had ever heard of it. They were old enough. There is no reason for their ignorance. It’s not their fault. Their parents and their teachers have let them down.
The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center was the death place of 2,605 people, not including the victims onboard the planes. 411 of those were first responders. Have we forgotten them?
The Pentagon was the death place of 125 people, 55 of those being military personnel. Have we forgotten them?
Flight 93 and the other three planes involved were the death places of 246 passengers, flown to their deaths because of 19 wicked men bent on destruction and death, for a god that doesn’t even exist. Have we forgotten those victims and their murderers?
At least 4,424 of our troops gave their lives in Iraq to protect our nation and put down terrorist organizations. Have we forgotten their sacrifice?
As of 2018, 2,372 of our brave servicemen have died in Afghanistan to the same end. There have been 20,32o wounded in the war. Have we forgotten their valor, their blood shed for our freedom, their families mourning loss of life, limb and mental stability?
I would dare to say that we have. I have spoken with people who thought Afghanistan was just a military base, not a war zone. I have spoken with many who have no idea when we went to war or why. I myself can name only two places where fighting has taken place over there. I am ashamed of my lack of knowledge on this subject. After all, this is the war of my generation. I was five when 9/11 happened. I watched the towers fall live on my Grandmother’s television. I have never forgotten that. It is seared into my memory forever.
Did you know that the 18-year-old recruit in Basic Training today was only a baby when 9/11 happened? Did you know that the 17-year-old recruit wasn’t even born? Three of my siblings have only known a country at war. A couple of them remember when Osama bin Laden died, taken out by conscientious Navy SEALs. None of the three remember Saddam Hussein. I do. I lived in fear, as a child, that they would come to America and murder my family, even though I prayed they would come to know the Lord. It was a result of this fear of dying that God softened my heart and I accepted Him as my personal Savior.
I believe though, that as a nation, We Have Forgotten.
But that’s not all…
Jesus Christ came to earth, born of a virgin, suffering the scoffing and criticism by His own people. Have we forgotten the reason He came?
He selected 12 men to be his disciples. One betrayed Him to His enemies for money. One denied that he even knew Jesus. And 11 of them ran when Jesus was arrested. Have we forgotten His agony in the garden, for us? His prayers while His disciples slept?
He was falsely accused, beaten, spit on and mocked before the people. Have we forgotten His humility and acceptance of what should have been our punishment? He Who knew no sin? Have we forgotten?
Jesus died, gave His Life for us on the cross, so that we could go to Heaven when we die. He accepted the rejection of God, His Father, so we could be accepted. He willingly allowed Himself to die and be buried in a borrowed tomb, for you! For me! For the victims of 9/11. For the hijackers who took over the planes. For Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein. For every “good” person that has ever lived or ever will live. For every bad person who ever has lived or ever will live. For everyone. He loves us that much. He doesn’t owe us anything, but Jesus did it anyway. Have we forgotten the Love of Jesus?
And the most important part…
He rose again from the grave! Three days after giving His life for us, Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God, rose of His own power, victorious over death, hell and the grave.
How could we have forgotten? Do we as a nation even care? If not, it will be to the eternal doom of every individual who has rejected His free gift of Salvation. All Jesus asks is that we repent of our sins. That is all! Small thing to ask, right?
I haven’t forgotten. What about you?
I have accepted His gift. What about you?
Have you forgotten?
Today, I want to share a devotion with you that I wrote last year. Too often we forget those who gave it all to save others. After the devotion, I will have a review of the book Let’s Roll, by Lisa Beamer, a widow of Flight 93.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15: 13
King James Bible
It was supposed to be a normal flight, Flight number 93 at 8:42 a.m. Todd Beamer had just gotten home the night before from a five-day trip to Italy with his wife, Lisa. He had a trip to make for work, which he could have left for the day he returned to the states, but Todd decided to spend time with his little family. As it turns out, spending time with his sons David and Andrew (Drew) and his pregnant wife was a wise move. It was the last day they would spend together.
Everything changed for this 6-year Sunday School Teacher at 9:28 am September 11th, 2001. Everyone was screaming as the middle-eastern voice came over the speakers saying, “Keep remaining sitting. We have a bomb on board.” It was shortly after this that Todd got a look at the pilot and co-pilot, lying dead on the floor. Within minutes it became clear that their plane was heading for a vital target…Washington D.C.
Beamer made a call, explaining that the plane had been hijacked and that the pilots and one passenger had been murdered by knife-wielding terrorist. One had a bomb strapped to his waist, he informed them. Shortly after, while still on the phone, Todd, Mark Bingham, Tom Burnett and Jeremy Glick formed a plan to gain control of the plane. Beamer led his fellow passengers in reciting the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalm. To the official on the phone, Todd requested that if they didn’t survive the planned plane crash, would she please call his family and tell them how much he loved them. The last thing Beamer said that was heard over the phone was “Are you ready? Okay. Let’s roll!”
And with that, his final words joined the words of many Americans who dedicated their lives to freedom. And “Let’s roll!” to this day personifies the American mission. This is no time to stand idle and let things happen. It’s time to make things happen. It’s time to roll!
At 580 mph, the plane crashed at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing everyone on board. They sacrificed their lives so that others could live and lead our country in the coming wars, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Let us pray their sacrifice 18 years ago was not in vain.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 15: 13
King James Bible
By Lisa Beamer
From the Back Cover:
United Flight 93.
You read all about it.
You heard Hero Todd Beamer’s last words.
But what about the end of the story?
In Let’s Roll! Todd’s wife, Lisa, reveals what really happened on that ill-fated flight, as well as poignant glimpses of a genuine American Hero. She talks candidly about Todd’s growing-up years, their marriage and last week together, and then family moments without him—the devastating day her children learned their daddy had died, how they celebrated his first birthday without him, the mix of grief and joy when she gave birth to their third child, and how she’s found the confidence to go on in the face of such tragedy and loss. It’s no wonder that, through this unpretentious homemaker and mother, an entire nation can…
My Review: Another book that all Americans should read! Oh, my heart was so deeply touched by the Beamers’ Story! Seeing her struggle through losing her husband, reading their backstory and watching their children adjust to life without daddy was both heart-wrenching and heartwarming. They are normal people, thrust into a situation they certainly didn’t ask for and their response was inspiring and encouraging.
One thing I didn’t expect to feel in this story was pity for the terrorists who hijacked Flight 93.
Please hear me out.
These guys were horrible people and by all standards deserved to die. But what killed me was their ages: 26, 24, 21 and 20. So young, so bent on evil…and reading the instructions that were given to them by Mohammad-Atta, the leader of the attack, is heart breaking. Did they really think they were doing the right thing? Did they really believe their god would bless them? Did they really think they had to kill themselves and so many others in order to gain heaven? That’s what made me fill pity. They were so dedicated to their religion…a false doctrine and a god that doesn’t even exist. They did everything “right” according to how they had been raised…and still ended up in hell, because they had been deceived by their elders.
What a tragedy! What a waste! So young and oh, so wrong.
There were a few things that I didn’t care for in the book; the Beamers were not raised as conservative as I have been, so there are probably several things we wouldn’t agree on. Namely, dating and kissing prior to marriage. And their love of sports was a little annoying to me as well. But my main dislike was the fact that they used the NIV for the scriptures. I am King James only, so this was the most frustrating part of the book. Lisa quotes scriptures I am familiar with and it’s so irritating to see it changed and watered down. If it were my book, I would have looked up the references and corrected them in the text.
Even so, the message of the book was powerful and so needed in this day and age. Were the Beamers perfect? No. Were they extraordinary people? Oh, yes. Because they have an Extraordinary Father in Heaven, Who controlled every detail of their lives, shaping them and preparing them for the day that rocked America to it’s core.
I would recommend this to Biblically mature readers 18 and up for understanding/interest.
One of the most solemn holidays in our country is Patriots Day, a day set aside to remember those who died on September 11th, 2001. I was 5 when 19 Islamic Terrorists hijacked our planes and murdered over 2,000 innocent people.
A few weeks ago, I decided to read and review some books on the subject, so you would have time to order them or borrow them through your local library before 9/11 gets here. Today’s post is the first of those books.
Heroes of 9/11
By Allan Zullo
From the Back Cover: The first responders on September 11, 2001 — firefighters, police officers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, military officers and even many civilians — risked their lives to save people they didn't know. Every one of them is a hero. This book features ten gripping stories that reflect the countless breathtaking acts of heroism that occurred inside the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a hijacked plane. Among other amazing true accounts, you will read about the miraculous survival of the fire captain and his men who were buried alive when the north tower collapsed... the cop who dodged death twice to help save others... and the two navy officers who ran into a burning, crumbling section of the Pentagon to rescue a trapped worker.
My Review: Wow. I felt as though at any minute I could burst into tears (And a few times, I did). This book highlights heroes who rescued people on 9/11. Six stories cover the World Trade Center, two Police, two Firemen, and two EMTs. Three stories take place in the Pentagon (yes, the Pentagon was attacked. For some odd reason, many people forget that…), 2 Army, 1 Navy. And then the final story is a tribute to the heroes of Flight 93, the plane that went down in Shanksville, Pennsylvania when the passengers fought back against the terrorists and saved our nation’s congress.
This book is written on a middle grade level, but honestly, I think everyone should read it. Such selflessness is uncommon in our day and age. Such unity of action and purpose…a love and willingness to sacrifice everything for a stranger.
The only reason this book did not receive 5 stars is because I had to mark out over a dozen uses of God’s Name taken in vain. I understand that the people were in shock over what had happened, but that doesn’t justify abusing God’s Name. Now, there are several mentions of prayer and crying out to God for help and I loved that aspect of the story! But I would recommend an older person reading it before young readers.
Christian. American. Southern. Author.