Flags of Our Fathers Summary Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Until December 7, 1941, the War was with Adolf Hitler's troops across the Atlantic Ocean. Now, notes Bradley, Americans became aware of a war that had already been ongoing in Asia for almost a decade.

The next part of Flags of Our Fathers then chronicle how these six different yet similar young men were trained to meet America's War, which now raged across the Pacific as well as the Atlantic. For James Bradley, it was during World War II encounters that the Marines came into full force as a significant force in American military history. The all-American boys were therefore trained in combat skills. The soldiers also received comprehensive training in amphibious warfare. Bradley's approbation is evident in his descriptions of training and subsequent Marine battles such as the 1942 Battle of Guadalcanal, which called for "the best-trained amphibious warriors in the world" (33).

Interestingly, Bradley is not as generous to the other branches of the military. He scores the United States Navy for abandoning the Marines at Guadalcanal (33).

Unlike the Marines, the Army relied on draftees, whereas the Marines were staffed by volunteers who had to pass stringent physical requirements (35).

At the end of the book, James Bradley examines the "Common Virtue" that had underlined the lives of the men of Iwo Jima. Dave Severance, a fellow survivor who became a highly decorated career marine, took charge of compiling a list of Easy Company veterans in 1968. However, notes Bradley, while Iwo Jima would remain the defining moment of his life, his own father never went to a reunion, unable to deal with the burden of being an "immortal hero" (193).

By recounting his father's reluctance to discuss the war and even the image of Iwo Jima, Bradley creates a moving and poignant commentary on the after-effects of war, even one that was as necessary as World War II. When he finds an image of Iwo Jima in his textbook, Jim Bradley could not contain his excitement, and begs his father to give a "hero" speech to his class. He is crushed upon his father's refusal, and has never forgotten his father's words. First, John Bradley would state that he did not remember the events. Second, he would remind his son that "the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who didn't come back" (195).

Flags of Our Fathers is thus bookended by James Bradley's very personal accounts. The author wonders what could sustain young all-American men through the horrors of non-stop combat, on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. In the end, Bradley states, what sustains them is not national allegiance or devotion to a nation's cause. Instead, it lies in values such as loyalty and devotion to friendships, values that are forged in little towns all across America.


Bradley's Flags of Our Fathers clearly shows a strong admiration for the patriotism and integrity of the six protagonists. Had a photographer not been able to capture that moment, it is unlikely that the event would have been known, especially because the protagonists were so reluctant to share their stories. James Bradley is therefore to be commended, for his efforts in gathering their stories and in writing this powerful book.

Flags of Our Fathers succeeds beyond the mere "battle books." Other books have been written about World War II, military training and even individual battles like Guadalcanal. James Bradley, however, writes an intensely human drama, one that could have easily been lost into time. Today, the human costs of the Battle of Iwo Jima are largely forgotten - all 22,000 Japanese troops and almost 6,000 Americans were killed. Figures like these, however, make the statistics seem unreal.

By underscoring the all-American ordinariness of the six soldiers at Iwo Jima, Flags of Our Fathers illustrates how everyday individuals can make great sacrifices and go through tribulations, for goals greater than themselves. It may be towards a national goal, or towards ensuring that the brothers (and sisters) in your unit are all safe. The reader fells Bradley's unspoken hope that such moral courage transcends time and generations. Would we be willing to make the same hard military decisions today? Bradley hopes that when confronted with this question, we as a nation could respond the same way as the six men of Eagle Company as they raised the flag at Iwo Jima.

Works Cited


Cite This Term Paper:

"Flags Of Our Fathers Summary" (2006, December 17) Retrieved December 10, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/flags-of-our-fathers-summary-40861

"Flags Of Our Fathers Summary" 17 December 2006. Web.10 December. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/flags-of-our-fathers-summary-40861>

"Flags Of Our Fathers Summary", 17 December 2006, Accessed.10 December. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/flags-of-our-fathers-summary-40861

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Kazantzakis Freedom or Death Captain Michalis the

    Kazantzakis Freedom or Death Captain Michalis, the hero of Freedom or Death, was based on Kazantzakis' father Michalis, a traditional Cretan community leader and warrior in the independence struggles who fought in the 1888-89 rebellion. He also introduces the Captain's best friend Nuri Bey and his wife Emine, who he also loves, but in the end he rejects them both in the cause of Cretan independence. The Pasha and the Metropolitan

  • Novel Ragtime by E L Doctorow

    individuals have struggle accepting change. It takes quite some time for one to adapt to this. For regions of a country or even whole nations, change may take decades or possibly centuries. Edgar Lawrence Doctorow can certainly relate to this Born in 1931, Doctorow (aptly named after EL Poe) has lived through tumultuous changes and grew to see America converging from one of exclusive races and racism into one that

  • Prince of Tides Movie

    Prince of Tides PLOT SUMMARY: The movie, The Prince Of Tides, is based on the novel of the same name by Pat Conroy. In this movie, the main character Tom Wingo is at a crisis in his life. He is a football coach who has recently lost his job. He lives with his wife and daughters, none of whom he seems to understand. One summer, his twin sister attempts suicide

  • Barack Obama and the Deracialization

    More precisely, "color blind racism created a paradox for presidential candidate Barack Obama. While he could not escape "race" his candidacy strategically figured "race" through color blind rhetoric that contained the threat of a black presidency. In spite of his campaign's efforts to avoid his racialization, "Obama" was alternately racialised and deracialized through his affective ties The tactics used by Obama through the application of the deracialization theory may have

  • Close Scrutiny of Books Journal

    2) states: An eligible employee shall be entitled to a total of seven days of leave because of the death of a parent, spouse, son, daughter, or person for whom the employee serves as designated representative... If the deceased died in the line of duty as a member of the uniformed services. Such leave is intended to permit the employee to prepare for or attend the burial ceremony of the

  • Women and the Homefront in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee...

    Women and the Home Front in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee during the Civil War This paper examines the living conditions and attitudes that shaped the lives of the women in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee during and after the American Civil War. The thesis statement should deal with the breakdown of long standing ties between the people of the mountains as they chose to fight for the

  • Sociology Changing Societies in a Diverse World

    Sociology: Changing Societies in a Diverse World (Fourth Edition) George J. Bryjak & Michael P. Soroka Chapter One Summary of Key Concepts Sociology is the field of study which seeks to "describe, explain, and predict human social patterns" from a scientific perspective. And though Sociology is part of the social sciences (such as psychology and anthropology), it is quite set apart from the other disciplines in social science; that is because it emphasizes

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved