When the Unknown Soldier was laid to rest in Arlington, General John Pershing, commander of the American Expeditionary Forces in WWI, selected eight of America’s most decorated, battle-hardened veterans to serve as Body Bearers. He chose them for their bravery and to tell the larger story of America’s role in World War I. For the first time, PATRICK K. O’DONNELL cinematically portrays their heroics on the battlefield one hundred years ago. The Body Bearers appropriately spanned America’s service branches and specialties. Their ranks included a cowboy who relived the charge of the light brigade, an American Indian who heroically breached mountains of German barbed wire and captured more than sixty Germans, a salty New Englander who dueled a U-boat for hours in a fierce gunfight, a tough New Yorker who sacrificed his body to save his ship, and an indomitable soldier who, though blinded by gas, nevertheless overcame five machine gun nests.
This event will take place in the Library’s Commonwealth Salon.
PATRICK K. O’DONNELL is a bestselling, critically acclaimed military historian and an expert on elite units. He is the author of eleven books, including Washington’s Immortals, We Were One, and Dog Company, and he is the recipient of several national awards. He served as a combat historian in a Marine rifle platoon during the Battle of Fallujah and speaks often on espionage, special operations, and counterinsurgency. He has provided historical consulting for DreamWorks’ award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers and for documentaries produced by the BBC, the History Channel, Fox News, and Discovery. patrickkodonnell.com
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.