Thursday, September 10, 2015

On a lovely Saturday in August, two planes took off from Zamperini Field in Torrance, California. One was a yellow Navy trainer, the other a biplane. In the Navy plane sat Luke Zamperini, Louie Zamperini’s son, holding a container of Louie's ashes. In the biplane sat Louie’s daughter, Cynthia Garris, and Angelina Jolie.

The two planes banked out over the Pacific, where, 72 years ago, Louie floated on a raft for forty-seven days, the beginning of his extraordinary journey. The planes circled the Palos Verdes Peninsula, over kelp beds and turquoise inlets and coves. Then they turned back over land. With Cynthia and Angie holding hands and crying in the plane behind, the Navy plane dropped low over the runway, and Luke sifted his father’s ashes into the California air.

So long, Louie. We love you.

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