In 1947, Louis Zamperini met Cynthia Zamperini. He thought his new life would be free of his old, but that was not the case. Nightmares, about the Bird, continued to haunt him.
With his life out of control, and nowhere else to turn, Louie turned to God after attending a Billy Graham crusade.
Meanwhile ... as the Allies prosecuted war-crime defendants ... the Bird (Mutsuhiro Watanabe) was missing. After the Allies granted amnesty to war criminals, in 1952, the Bird resurfaced and became a businessman.
Years later, Draggan Mihailovich and his CBS team tracked down the infamous guard. He agreed to an interview with Bob Simon but refused to meet with Louie.
In 1998, when it came time to select a runner to carry the Olympic Torch through Naoetsu - on its way to Nagano - only Louie Zamperini came to mind. At the age of 81, he ran for a kilometer. His route took him past Camp 4, at the old prison, with many Japanese people lining the streets to cheer him on.
Louie Zamperini has survived - the war, the Ocean, the prisons, the pain, the nightmare, the brutality. And ... he has forgiven all those who had abused him along the way - including the Bird (who reportedly died on April 1, 2003).
Clip from 60 Minutes' documentary on Louis Zamperini. Copyright, 60 Minutes, all rights reserved. Video online, viaYouTube; provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the production.
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