Friday, November 04, 2005

there are still brave people in this world, read on....

Two Stories of Doing The Right Thing

You need to read all of this, especially if you are from Chicago
or ever travel by plane to Chicago.

Story Number One:

Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago.
Capone wasn’t famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for
enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and
prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was his lawyer
for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill
at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of Jail for a long time.
To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well.

Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends.
For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion
with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day.

The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City
block. Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave
little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him.

Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he
loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had the best
of everything: clothes, cars and a good education. Nothing was
withheld. Price was no object.

And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even
tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be
a better man than he was. Yet, with all his wealth and
influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; that
he couldn't pass on a good name and a good example.

One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision.

Easy Eddie Wanted to rectify wrongs he had done. He decided he
would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al
"Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name and offer his son
some semblance of integrity.

To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he
knew that the cost would be great. So, he testified.

Within the year, Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire
on a lonely Chicago Street. But in his eyes, he had given his
son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he
would ever pay.

Story Number Two:

World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant
Commander Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the
aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.

One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. After he was
airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone
had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. He would not have
enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship.
His flight leader told him to return to the carrier.

Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the
fleet. As he was returning to the mother ship he saw something
that turned his blood cold.

A squadron of Japanese aircraft was speeding their way toward
the American fleet. The American fighters were gone on a
sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't
reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the
fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger.

There was only one thing to do.
He must somehow divert them from the fleet.

Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the
formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed
as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then

Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at
as many planes as possible until all his ammunition was finally
spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dived at the
planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as
many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly.

Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another
direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered
fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival he reported in
and related the event surrounding his return.

The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale.
It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his
fleet. He had in fact destroyed five enemy aircraft.

This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch
became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval
Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.

A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29.

His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to
fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute
to the courage of this great man.

So the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International, give
some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue
and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.


Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son.


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