TWO MASTERS of media will open sessions at the 2008 Offset and Beyond Conference. James Bradley, author of “Flags of Our Father,” and David Gregory, MSNBC chief White House correspondent, will deliver unforgettable messages. Each of the speakers was interviewed by PIA/GATF staff members in preparation for the keynotes. The following article highlights those conversations.
James Bradley will kick off the opening day with riveting, timeless themes of courage and overcoming obstacles. In a recent interview, Bradley indicated that his message will segue from the historical examples of supposedly insurmountable tasks where people said it could not be done, to everyday life and job challenges that people think cannot be done.
Bradley says his own book is a good example of “they said it couldn’t be done,” since 27 publishers over the course of 25 months refused to publish the book; yet, his book and the film of the same name have been critically acclaimed. His topic, while related to World War II (WW II), is really timeless and, he adds, “the messages are not in any time zone.”
Bradley recounted his mentors or inspirations during his life. He was fortunate to have a fantastic and inspirational coach at the University of Wisconsin. Bradley caddied for Vince Lombardi, the famous Green Bay Packers coach, and learned first-hand his attitude about winning. Bart Starr, the legendary Packers quarterback, was a neighbor and also a key figure while growing up in Wisconsin. Steven Ambrose, renowned historian and author, was a huge influence and friend.
All these famous names, as well as his quiet, unassuming father, framed his formative years that led to a career in travel, writing, speaking and researching.
In reference to his father, Bradley reveals that he and his mother heard next to nothing about his father’s mission or his actions related to Iwo Jima. In 47 years of marriage, his mother never knew of the world dignitaries such as Truman and the English royalty who met and talked with his dad.