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Category Archives: DAILY THOUGHTS
It’s the cup of brandy that no one wants to drink.
On Tuesday, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the surviving Doolittle Raiders gathered publicly for the last time. They once were among the most universally admired and revered men in the United States. There were 80 of the Raiders in April 1942, when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation’s history. The mere mention of their unit’s name, in those years, would bring tears to the eyes of grateful Americans.
Now only four survive.
After Japan’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, with the United States reeling
and wounded, something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort
around. Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough
to Japan for the United States to launch retaliation, a daring plan was
devised. Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from
the deck of an aircraft carrier. This had never before been tried –
sending such big, heavy bombers from a carrier.
The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. They would have to hit Japan and then hope to
make it to China for a safe landing.
But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan. The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from much farther out in the
Pacific Ocean than they had counted on. They were told that because of
this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety. And those men went anyway.
They bombed Tokyo, and then flew as far as they could. Four planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. Eight more were captured; three were executed. Another died of starvation in a Japanese
prison camp. One crew made it to Russia.
The Doolittle Raid sent a message from the United States to its enemies, and to the rest of the world: We will fight. And, no matter what it takes, we will
Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war. They were celebrated as national heroes, models of bravery. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer produced a motion picture based on the raid; “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” starring Spencer Tracy and Van Johnson, was a patriotic and emotional box-office hit, and the phrase became part of the national lexicon. In the movie-theater previews for the film, MGM proclaimed that it was presenting the story “with supreme pride.”
Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, to
commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different city each year.
In 1959, the city of Tucson, Arizona, as a gesture of respect and
gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver
goblets. Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.
Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down
in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness.
Also in the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac. The year is not happenstance: 1896 was when Jimmy Doolittle was born.There
has always been a plan: When there are only two surviving Raiders, they
would open the bottle, at last drink from it, and toast their comrades
who preceded them in death.
As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February, Tom Griffin passed away at age 96. What a man he was. After bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died. When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp. The selflessness of these men, the sheer guts. There was a passage in the Cincinnati Enquirer obituary for Mr. Griffin that, on the surface, had nothing to do with the war, but that emblematizes the depth of his sense of duty and devotion: “When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home, he visited her every day. He walked from his house to the nursing home, fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her clothes. At night, he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he walked them up to her room the next morning. He did that for three years until her death in 2005.” So now, out of the original 80, only four Raiders remain: Dick Cole (Doolittle’s co-pilot on the Tokyo raid), Robert Hite, Edward Saylor and David Thatcher. All are in their 90s. They have decided that there are too few of them for the public reunions to continue
The events in Fort Walton Beach this week will mark the end. It has come full circle; Florida ‘s nearby Eglin Field was where the Raiders trained in secrecy for the Tokyo mission. The town is planning to do all it can to honor the men: a six-day celebration of their valor, including luncheons, a dinner and a parade. Do the men ever wonder if those of us for whom they helped save the country have tended to it in a way that is worthy of their sacrifice? They don’t talk about that, at least not around other people.
But if you find yourself near Fort Walton Beach this week, and if you should encounter any of the Raiders, you might want to offer them a word of thanks. I can tell you from firsthand observation that they appreciate hearing that they are remembered. The men have decided that after this final public reunion they will wait until a later date — sometime this year — to get together once more, informally and in absolute privacy. That is when they will open the bottle of brandy. The years are flowing by too swiftly now; they are not going to wait until there are only two of them. They will fill the four remaining upturned goblets.
Their 70th Anniversary Photo.
(TruthSeekerDaily) Sir Nicholas Winton organized the rescue and passage to Britain of about 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovakian children destined for the Nazi death camps before World War II in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport.
After the war, Nicholas Winton didn’t tell anyone, not even his wife Grete about his wartime rescue efforts. In 1988, a half century later, Grete found a scrapbook from 1939 in their attic, with all the children’s photos, a complete list of names, a few letters from parents of the children to Winton and other documents. She finally learned the whole story.
In the video below, the survivors gathered to give him a wonderful surprise to honour his work in saving a future generation.
An Italian husband and wife were having dinner at a very fine restaurant when this absolutely stunning young woman comes over to their table, gives the husband a big open-mouthed kiss, then says she’ll see him later and walks away. The wife glares at her husband and says, “Who was that?” “Oh,” replies the husband, “she’s my mistress.” “Well, that’s the last straw,” says the wife. “I’ve had enough, I want a divorce!” “I can understand that,” replies her husband, “But remember, if we get a divorce it will mean no more shopping trips to Paris.
But…. The decision is all yours.”
Just then, a mutual friend enters the restaurant with a gorgeous babe on his arm. “Who’s that woman with Tony?” asks the wife. “That’s his mistress,” says her husband. “Ours is much prettier,” she replies with a smile.
Arden Hayes is a 5-year-old boy from Southern California in the United States. He is known for his knowledge of the U.S. presidents, reciting Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address by heart, and being able to identify the countries of the world and name the capitals of each.
His interest in American presidents was sparked by Arden’s learning that he shares a birthday with Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Both were born on January 30.
On May 4, 2013, Arden was featured in an article and video in the Los Angeles Times. He also received a lot of publicity in newspapers in England and the United States and on various blogs. Soon after, Arden was asked to appear on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on July 2, 2013 to demonstrate his knowledge regarding U.S. presidents. On November 5, 2013, Arden again appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, and displayed his knowledge of the nations of the world and their capitals.
27 Stunning Works Of Art You Won’t Believe Aren’t Photographs. These are just amazing. I went to an exhibition of Ron Mueck‘s work a while ago and it was fantastic. These other artists are beyond description. As a beginning artist I just can’t imagine how you can have such a talent.
Thought you might be interested to see this video. Its a reenactment of the WW1 Dutch Army Bicycle Band . . . . . . . . yes, I had no idea there were such a thing either but apparently it was founded in 1894. They travel around showing off at various venues but probably unlike during WW1 they are not fit enough to ride to each of them! Its actually a bit like watching synchronized swimming only this is synchronized cycling whilst playing a musical instrument! OK that’s little bizarre and while watching it I keep getting the feeling it has something Monty Python about it, and the side on view of that sergeant, well he’s a sure dead ringer of Benny Hill, it just makes it even funnier, enjoy. http://www..flixxy.com/the-dutch-army-bicycle-band.htm
J.R. Gilkinson had never seen anything like it. The California man was sailing off Newport Beach with his niece and some friends when a sea lion pup hopped aboard the back deck of the boat and slowly edged closer to him.
Thinking quickly, Gilkinson captured the extraordinary moment on film. In the video, filmed on May 18 the baby sea lion snuggles with the sailor and lays in Gilkinson’s lap as it appears to rest its eyes. He didn’t budge for an hour.
“It was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had,” Gilkinson told The Huffington Post. “I appreciated every second because I didn’t know how long it was going to last.” Though Gilkinson noted that people are typically told not to approach sea lions — under National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration guidelines — he added that “it was completely on the sea lion’s terms.” “He wanted to come rest on me,” he said. “So we let him.” When it was time to return to harbor, Gilkinson actually had to stand up and tell the sea lion it was time to go. After some gentle nudges, the pup walked to the end of the boat and jumped back into the water. Gilkinson spoke with other sailors in the area and confirmed what he initially thought: This type of thing “just doesn’t happen.”