Some heroes are just plain folks but their names will never be forgotten for the amazing feats they`ve accomplished. Here are the inspiring stories of 5 people who saved lives in one way or another and left behind a mark that will change the world and our perception of generosity and kindness.
Louis Zamperini is a former Olympian, an ex-war prisoner and an inspirational speaker, who symbolizes the unbroken spirit and the will to move on to redemption and forgiveness. He was born to Italian parents who immigrated to the US in the early 1900s. He was a noted Olympian and athlete before he enrolled in the armed forces. The story of his trials and tribulations started when his plane crashed 850 miles away from Oahu and Louis found himself with three of his comrades Russel Allen "Phil" Phillips and Francis "Mac" McNamara lost at sea. They survived on rain water, raw fish and sea gulls. The hunger, thirst and fatigue were not the only problems the three faced. They had to fight back sharks, storms and Japanese attacks. Back home, they were declared dead. After 34 days at sea Francis MacNamara died. Phil and Louis were captured two weeks later and sent to camps designed for war prisoners. There they were tortured and physically and psychologically abused on a daily basis and by one person in particular - Mutsuhiro Watanabe. When Louis was finally released after the war ended he returned home and married Cynthia Applewhite, to whom he remained married until her death. Even though he returned to normal life, things weren't easy for him. Louis suffered severe post traumatic stress disorder. His life was falling apart, but with the help of his wife he managed to turn things around. He found redemption, salvation and was ready to forgive those who tormented him. He didn't save many, but he is the evidence that the human spirit and the goodness in people are unbroken. With the help of Billy Graham, he became an inspirational speaker and a mentor for troubled youth.