Olympian, World War ll hero, and Southland inspiration, Louis Zamperini, died earlier this week at the age of 97. Universal Studios made the announcement last Wednesday. Zamperini reportedly died after a valiant struggle with pneumonia.
Zamperini’s amazing life is the subject of Laura Hillenbrand’s best seller, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.” (2010). The book is being adapted into a movie with Angelina Jolie directing. Just last May, Zamperini was selected as the Grand Marshal for the 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade.
Zamperini’s passing forces Rose Parade officials to rethink Zamperini’s involvement. However, in a statement on their website, officials say Zamperini will remain the Grand Marshal.
“The Tournament of Roses expresses our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Louis Zamperini. We will remember and honor the courage and grace that made Louis who he was, and hope that by sharing his life’s story, we can uphold the values which built his strength, perseverance and his ability to forgive others. Louis’ life serves as an inspiration to us all, and we are committed to honoring him as the Grand Marshal of the 2015 Rose Parade.”
See the full statement here.