Sunday, February 24th

Viewpoints Louis Zamperini

Louis Zamperini’s amazing life story was recently documented in the acclaimed book, UNBROKEN: Louis Zamperini’s Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.

On Sunday, February 24, 2013 Viewpoints will present Louis Zamperini. Mr. Zamperini's amazing life story was documented in the acclaimed book Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.

In order to accommodate the large crowd, please come early to find parking. Doors will open at 5:00 p.m. for seating. The program will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by wine and hors d'oeuvres in the Fellowship Center. Tickets will NOT be available at the door. If you have any questions or need assistance please call (858) 381-8070.


Mr. Zamperini’s life was literally one in the record books by the time he became a bombardier during World War II.  In high school, he set the world high school record for the mile.  During the 1936 Olympics, he continued to set more records as a runner, and he continued setting records through his running career at the University of Southern California.  But what really garnered the world’s (?) attention was his story of resilience and survival following the crash of his aircraft during the war. 

On a routine reconnaissance run, his aircraft crashed into the Pacific Ocean, and Mr. Zamperini and other crewmember survived in a life raft for 47 days, unknowingly drifting into Japanese controlled waters.  The crew was rescued by the Japanese from the waters, but then placed into Japanese prison camps.  It was here that Mr. Zamperini encountered a guard who tried for two years to break his spirit with verbal and physical cruelty, but the strong spirit that had been his trademark throughout his life enabled him to outlast the guard.

When the war ended Mr. Zamperini returned to Torrance, California.  He partied with celebrities and married a debutante, but he was plagued by nightmares and his life was spinning out of control.  It was a chance meeting  with Billy Graham inside a revival tent that changed his life and ended his nightmares.  He eventually went back to Japan to forgive the very guards who had tormented him. 

In 1998, the Olympic Winter Games were held in Nagano, Japan, just outside the town where Louis Zamperini had been held captive.  The people of Nagano asked him to carry the Olympic flame as part of the torch relay, and a 45-minute feature about his life was aired during the telecast of the Closing Ceremony.

Today, at 96 years of age, Louis Zamperini is still spry and full of life.  He lectures audiences across the globe on how to deal with stress, the meaning of the Olympics, and the freedom he found through a personal relationship with God.

Viewpoints is co-presented by The Village Church and the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation.  The goal of the lecture series is to inform, inspire and impact by providing a forum in which individuals, renown in their field, share their knowledge, wisdom and experience with members of our community.


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