Monthly Archives: August 2013
Remember my squee-fest over a t-shirt I found?
Yeah..so, this happened to it:
And it’s lost.
Which makes this the most ironic t-shirt – EVVVAHHH!
I didn’t write this story, it was sent to me by a friend. I am, however, a fiercely patriotic American so I’m proud to share this with you.
“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 a 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 win.
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 first hand 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 — some time 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. And raise them in a toast to those who are gone.”
It’s a comment, from a now-satisfied woman.
“I precisely desired to appreciate you once again. I’m not certain what My husband and i could possibly have created in the absence of the entire secrets shown on your part relating to that subject. It has been a traumatic dilemma in my position, however , considering the very skilled style someone managed the issue made my vision to jump over gladness. I’m happy for this support and even trust know what a powerful job that you’re getting into training some other people all through your blog post. I’m certain you’ve never come across any of us.”
I’m happy to contribute to someone’s happiness and well-being. Especially a married couple having traumatic performance issues.
You’re welcome, y’all.
You know since writing a blog I’ve been getting like elebenty-bajillion spam comments a month.
Sometimes they are so cleverly worded, I can’t always tell if they are or are not SPAM. I delete them anyway, so yeah if you’re one of ‘those’ that’s commented for real and wondered where it was…well, dammit don’t write like a Spambot next time!
The other day I opened the SPAM comments and found one that was one of this is it or isn’t it? moments…
“Om just folk funderar för att anhålla angående casino ner i
din nära framtid, absolut inte fylla upp dina kreditkort klura till att man inte
behöver betala i retur skulden. Runt ett flertal stater, deras casino har villkor angående hur
mycket skuld kreditkort vilket alla formen, kommer släppas.”
So, gentle readers, what do you think?
I went to Kinko’s one day to pick up some stuff for work, and I was wearing this t-shirt:
Egon Spengler* was working behind the counter and when he saw me walk in he proceeded to stare, grin, stare some more.
I got to the counter, finally – there was a long line – and Egon was going to the back to get something for another customer. He’s walking backwards, and as he shouts “I LOVE your t-shirt!” in my direction, he fell over a box of paper…but instead of falling he sort of pinwheeled into the wall.
It was awesome.
I shouted a hearty “Thank you!” back, and then everyone in the place applauded his acrobatics.
Another guy got my stuff and I paid and turned to go.
Egon shouted after me, “Ma’am, just one question – Kirk or Picard?”
I turned around, “Kirk, of course.” was my reply.
“I’m a TOS purist, dude…so…KIRK.”
“Live long and prosper.”
“Make it so.” I said, and winked at him as I walked out the door. He and everyone else erupted into laughter.
It’s a small community, but we Trekkers (there is NO SUCH THING AS A ‘TREKKIE’) have to stick together.
*although it would be totally awesome if he was really Egon, I am almost positive it wasn’t…too short, but otherwise? Dead ringer.
This is the real reason I order so many t-shirts.
“what’s up superstar? God you look great today, but of course you knew that. Well Captain Fantastic, take this email and stand in front of a mirror. You there? Now say to yourself, “Congratulations, your order from 6DollarShirts is on its way.” Because of your brilliant decision to order from us, you can now celebrate the fact that as of today your sweet tees are on the way!
While we know your ESP-ridden brain doesn’t need it (we swear we aren’t hitting on you), we still must provide you with this USPS.com tracking number to keep in your records:”
It’s an e-mail I got from 6dollarshirts – my favorite site. And, yes it really does cost $6 per shirt.
It’s like they know me…they really know me.