Born on the fourth of July referat






Born on the fourth of July

A true story of innocence lost and courage found.

This book describes the life of Ron Kovic who was born on the 4. of July. He loved Baseball, John Wayne and John F. Kennedy – but most of all, he loved his country. He was a natural athlete, a shy teen-ager who dreamed of girls, an All-American working- class kid. He shipped out to Vietnam with the Marines. Ron Kovic didn’t come marching home. He was wound, paralyzed permanently from his chest down.

Protesting the war at a rally in L.A., he was shoved from his wheelchair, his medals torn from his chest.

When Ron Kovic was young, he often played baseball in the backyard of his house with some friends. He was very good and he dreamed of playing for the New York Yankees.

At High school he joined the Wrestling team and started to train his body. Soon he became a very strong young man and the best wrestler of his team.

He started to dream of girls and got pimples all over his face.

The spring before he graduated, he worked at a supermarket near the marine recruiting station. From now on, all he could think of was joining the marines. In the last month of school the marine recruiters came and spoke to his senior class. They said there is nothing finer, nothing prouder than a United States Marine. After school Ron and his father went to the recruiting station and signed the paperwork. He left to the recruiting island on September 1964.

(Zitat 1)

The training was very hard and hardly any of them managed to become a marine, but he did and he was very proud about it.

After some time he was sent to Vietnam.

Ron always wanted to be the best. He also wanted to be the best marine. All these dreams crashed down when he was at the camp and they went out to check the situation, when suddenly someone started shooting. Suddenly everybody fired into the woods where they thought the enemy might be. It was a bad firefight and their corporal got shot. Ron thought he shot him in the neck, but he wasn’t sure. He was shocked and depressed. When he reported the accident to the major, the major said that everything can happen out there and he also said that he didn’t kill the corporal.

It was the friend of the major who gave him a second chance. He wanted to be the leader of the new scout team and that Ron Kovic would do a good job at his team. Ron was very proud and felt even stronger than before. he still wanted to be a hero. This he thought was what serving your country was supposed to be about.

After that there where some attacks on their camp and Ron hoped he wouldn’t get killed, but wounded, that he could come home as a hero.

When they where on patrol one night, all of a sudden the cracks where blasting all around their heads and everybody was running all across the place. He stayed and fired back with his full automatic. He emptied a whole clip into the village where the attack came from. He had started walking toward the village when the first bullet hit him and with a real loud crack his leg went numb below his knee. He felt good inside. Finally the war was with him and he had been shot by the enemy. He was getting out of the war and was going to be a hero. He still fired into the village when a loud crack went off next to his right ear as a thirty- caliber slug tore into his right shoulder, blasted through his lung and smashed his spinal cord to pieces. He felt that everything from his chest down was completely gone. All he could feel was the worthlessness of dying right here in this place at this time at this moment for nothing. But then two other marines came and carried him to the Amtrack.

The next thing he could remember was lying at a hospital and that a guy made him ready for the operation.

After the operation, the doctors said that he would never get on his feet again. It was terrible for Ron. He would never play baseball again, he would never run again.

After a month he was sent home to New York. he got to another hospital where things were very different than in the last place. It was quiet in the early morning and the sun was shining into the window. But Ron felt sad and angry again. There was nothing he could do for himself.

After some time he went home to his family.

One morning two soldiers came to his house and took him to a parade. There everybody cheered and wished him luck. He wanted to speak to the people, he wanted to explain them his point of view, but he didn’t get a chance.





He met Tommy, an old friend of him and they went to a bar together. Ron got drunk and they had to leave.

After two month Ron took a flight to Mexico, to a camp for paralyzed people. He liked it very much there. It was the first time he was happy again, but at the end of the summer he left it and flew back to New York.

It was in Vietnam when he first heard about the thousands of people, protesting the war in the streets of America. At first he couldn’t believe it and got angry, but now he began to understand them.

He settled in his apartment again and went back to classes at the university. There he heard about a great rally at Washington against the war and he decided to go there.

On an early Saturday morning Ron and Skip, one of his friends, left for Washington.

The rally was great. At first some speakers held their speeches and everybody cheered at them. Then all people stipped off all their clothes and jumped into the Reflecting Pool. The police came and attacked them. Ron was very upset and confused and he couldn’t understand why they attacked. From now on, he wasn’t longer an observer, sitting in his car at the edge of a demonstration. He wanted to shout back to the charging police, tell them he was a veteran, but Skip pulled him away.

After some time he spoke himself for the first time. He told them about the war, the hospital, and many other things. He was a very good speaker and he filled the crowd with enthusiasm.

From now on, he spoke very often at rallies and at Universities.

Once, when he was protesting the war at a rally in California, some policemen hit, kicked and arrested him, but he was set free the following day.

He met a young woman, Helen, in L.A. and he married her, but it didn’t last long.

Ron found an apartment at Hurricane Street in Santa Monica, where he lived for a while. Then he decided to speak again and protest against Vietnam. There was a great march from California to the Republican National Convention. He joined the people and was very happy.

(Zitat 2)

Ron Kovic managed to get to Nixons acceptance speech. Some other handicapped veterans where there, too. They lined themselves up together, wheelchair to wheelchair, facing the platform where Nixon would speak. They brought in some “Stop the War” signs and they held them above their heads.

When president Nixon started to speak, the shouted at him to stop the war and the bombing. The security men came and pulled them out of the building, but they did it. They told Nixon their opinion and they shouted at him. They felt good inside.

(Zitat 3)

Ron Kovic: He was shy, strong and full of patriotism. In the war, he lost his innocence, but he found courage. He began to criticize the US politics, but he never stopped loving his country. He always wanted to tell the people about his life and the war.

The themes of the book are the war, American patriotism and the life of handicapped people.

I liked the book very much, because it is interesting written and it’s exciting to read it. I also liked the character of Ron Kovic.










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