Author Henry Bodden has traveled extensively photographing European and Pacific “then & now” battle sites and documenting the heroics of World War II veterans and their accounts of defeat, captivity, and victory. Historian Stephen Ambrose is quoted as saying “if you write about history, you must first walk the ground.” Only after returning from Pearl Harbor and from Iwo Jima for the 65th anniversary of the flag-raising on Mt. Suribachi, did he decide to compile his vast collection of photographs and historical facts into a book honoring “the greatest generation” as they are leaving us. The American Revolution, The Civil War, and World War II are the three major events in the history of our nation. He has been speaking at military events, schools, and will do book signings and presentations to preserve their memory.
“In The Footsteps of Valor” is unique in its content, as it is written in a pictorial diary fashion of his adventures to Europe and the Pacific. As an avid art collector and a fan of World War II movies, the book is laced with little known facts, trivia, art, cinematic locales, and takes the reader on a photographic travelogue of historical landmarks along the way. In the JFK and PT109 segment, the author includes his eyewitness account of the assassination of JFK , as an ever dwindling amount of witnesses around Dealey Plaza that day continue to shrink. To those of us alive who remember the JFK assassination, it had to be just as stunning as to those who lived through the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. His account is recorded in the video and oral archives of The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas.
The author has inserted his travels, images, and the historical text in the chronological order of the war, alternating between Europe & the Pacific as events unfolded. While the war in Europe adhered to a somewhat code of the rules of warfare, with the exception of the fanatical SS troops, the war in the Pacific was a war of racial savagery. “My tour to the Philippines with five veterans of “The Bataan Death March” and the dreaded “Hellships” profoundly affected me as to the brutality of the war in the Pacific.” More Americans perished in the holds of these “Hellships” than those who died on “The Death March.” No quarter was asked, nor was any quarter given. In the summer of 1942, Germany and Japan occupied one-third of our planet, with designs of an eventual joint occupation of America. Had Germany or Japan developed nuclear weapons first, Axis domination of the world was a real possibility. Sadly, as time marches on with each new generation, it is often forgotten and under-appreciated what these men and women accomplished for our freedom.
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