As the Twenty-First Century progresses, we should look retrospectively back to the Twentieth Century and learn the lessons that it has to teach us. Tens of millions of people died at the hands of their fellow humans during the previous century. Some of the criminal perpetrators of these crimes turned murderous extermination into national policy or worse yet, an industry. The list of the targeted nationalities, ethnic groups, and religious affiliations is long as is the list of their tormentors. Most of us know about these events from the few paragraphs they are allotted in the cumulative history of a long period of time, like a century. There are still the remaining few, who were there and saw the dirty deeds as they occurred. There are also the remaining few, who saw firsthand what occurred when these horrors were brought to an end.
Museums can be built and monuments erected, but they only serve as remembrances. They can only mark where the battlefields of the Great Wars were fought. You cannot see the tens of thousands who died in a single day in chaotic combat. Where Hitler's factories of death and work camps were located only empty buildings remain. The jungle has reclaimed the Japanese POW camps so no monuments stand to testify to the atrocities inflicted there. These are small testimonies to the daily suffering that happened in these places of depravity. No monument or museum can convey the true suffering that took place in these camps or on these battlefields. Those who know of such suffering must never stop talking about these atrocities regardless of the pain it may cause them. They have an obligation to educate those who have never experienced such suffering so that the call to arms or the call to hate is always questioned.
I've seen the contest of the human body against steel. The body never wins. Though I was not alive during the period this story is set in, it was the violent prelude to our entrance into World War II. The story centers on the Sino-Japanese War and the impact of the Great Depression on our country. It's part of the life story of Michael Flanagan. He was a decorated fighter pilot during The Great War, but was brought to economic and emotional despair by the forces unleashed by the Great Depression. Before Flanagan ran out of options he was saved by a tough Irish Lady. His adventures began when he became involved with an aristocratic Chinese woman fighting to save her country from the ravages of Japanese aggression.
The nineteen thirties was also a time of great technological innovation. It was the era of the great flying boats and the introduction of the DC-3. This plane revolutionized passenger aviation because of its capabilities and economic viability. Through Michael Flanagan's eyes, we see how these innovations transformed the world.