Learn about war from survivors’ stories

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 4, 2011

ěI have seen enough of one war never to wish to see another.î
ó Thomas Jefferson
By Paul Birkhead
Rowan Public Library
There are a multitude of quotes about war and seldom will you find ones glamorizing it.
Just like General Sherman famously said, ěWar is hell.î If you havenít actually been in combat, one way to get a feel for warfare is to read a memoir of someone who witnessed the horror first-hand.
Rowan Public Libraryís shelves are stocked with personal narratives from servicemen and women who have fought in all branches of Americaís armed forces.
ěAn Ace of the Eighth: an American Fighter Pilotís Air War in Europeî is a first-person account of World War II written by Norman ěBudî Fortier. Fortier was an aviator in the U.S. Army Air Corps who flew more than 100 combat missions in the skies above Europe.
This narrative is full of interesting facts about the men and the aircraft that helped subdue Nazi Germany and is punctuated with photos of Fortier, his comrades and the aircraft they piloted.
In ěNo Bugles, No Drums,î the setting is the Korean War. In this book, freelance journalist Rudy Tomedi gathered the reminiscences of dozens of Korean War veterans. Set roughly in chronological order, these narratives tell the story of the conflict in Korea from several points of view, which makes for very interesting reading.
ěWe Were Soldiers Once and Young,î by Harold Moore, is the story of a small group of American soldiers in the 7th Cavalry who fought against all odds in the first significant engagement with Viet Cong regulars in Vietnam.
In this battle, fought in the fall of 1965, the lieutenant colonel who commanded the American forces was none other than the author himself. The book is sure to shock the reader with its descriptions of the bloody and gritty combat experiences of Moore and the men of his battalion. If the bookís title sounds familiar, it was made into a movie starring Mel Gibson in 2002.
Speaking of personal narratives of war, and Vietnam in particular, Rowan Public Library is partnering with Waterworks Visual Arts Center to honor and illustrate the Vietnam experiences of Rowan County servicemen and women.
Photos and oral histories are being collected at Rowan Public Library and will culminate in a photography exhibit at Waterworks in August 2011. Please call Paul Birkhead, at RPLís East Branch, 704-216-7841, if you would like more information.
Computer classes: Classes are free. Sessions are approximately 90 minutes. Class size is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis. Dates and times at all locations are subject to change without notice.
Headquarters ó Monday, 7 p.m., Microsoft Word 2003 Part 3; March 15, 2 p.m., Working with Windows; March 21, 7 p.m., Microsoft Excel 2003 Part 1; March 28, 7 p.m., Microsoft Excel 2003 Part 2.
South ó March 14, 7 p.m., Introduction to PowerPoint; March 31, 11 a.m., Introduction to Publisher.
East ó Registration required for East Branch only. March 17, 1 p.m., Basic Access.
Book Bites Club: South only; March 29, 6:30 p.m., ěThe Forgotten Gardenî by Kate Morton. Book discussion groups for both adults and children will meet the last Tuesday of each month. The group is open to the public; anyone is free to join at any time. There is a discussion of the book, as well as light refreshments at each meeting. For more information please call 704-216-8229.
Book chats for children: South (only) ó March 17, 4:15 p.m., ěStink & the Worldís Worst Super-Stinky Sneakers,î by Megan McDonald; grades three and four.
Children in grades 2-5 (different grade each month) are invited to participate in ěBook Chats,î a program at South Rowan Regional Library in China Grove. Registration is required and space is limited. Please call 704-216-7728 for more information.
American Girl Club: Headquarters, March 19, 11 a.m., a book discussion group about the life and times of the American Girls characters.
JRís Adventure Club: Headquarters, March 26, 11 a.m. The club will choose a project to build, and have books from the library and recommended websites that go along with the project. The club is open to all school age children. Light refreshments will be served. Call 704-216-8234 to learn more.
Teen program: Digital Illusions ó using Photoshop or Paint.net discover how to mix and mash images together.
East ó March 21, 5:30-7 p.m.
Headquarters óMarch 22, 5:30-7 p.m.
South ó March 29, 5:30-7 p.m.
Displays: Headquarters ó Red Cross; South ó bobbin lace by Pat Rigsby; East ó Ann Furr 4-H.
Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.
Childrenís Storytime: Now through April 29, weekly story time. For more information, call 704-216-8234.
Headquarters ó Toddler Time (18-35-month-olds), Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Baby Time (6-23-month-olds), Wednesdays, 11 a.m. Preschool Time (3-5-year-olds), Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.; Noodlehead (4-8 years), Thursdays, 4 p.m.
South ó Noodlehead, Mondays, 4 p.m.; Baby Time, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Preschool Time, Tuesdays, 1:30 p.m.; Toddler Time, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.
East ó Preschool Time, Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Toddler Time, Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m.; Baby Time, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m.