Monday, November 05, 2007


Air Force Brigadier General Paul Tibbets just died. He was 92 years old and requested that no funeral be held and no marker be placed on his grave. He was concerned that these memorials might draw protest. Protest for what he and his crew flying the Enola Gay did on August 6, 1945. They dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. It's estimated that over 200,000 people lost their lives as a result of these two explosions. Six days later World War II ended with the surrender of Japan.

My Uncle Harry was one of almost a million U.S. soldiers staged in the Philippines at that time...waiting to see if the bombs ended the war. If they did not, an invasion was planned.

I learned this weekend about a program called Honor Flight dedicated to bringing the remaining World War II veterans to Washington D.C. at no cost to tour the WWII Memorial in their honor. They estimate that 1200 of these veterans are passing away each day. I saw a man in the street that wore a t-shirt saying "Freedom isn't really free." The Sky and Sea Spectacular took place in Jacksonville, Florida this weekend featuring the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. It all reminded me of my mother and my father and a visit I made earlier this year to the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. It all made me pause and reflect.

During these challenging times, I think it's important to take the long view. Now is an excellent time to look back on American history and see where we came from and where we are going. Here are a few spots to get you started.

Tour Boston and walk the Freedom Trail. Visit Paul Revere's house and tour Old Ironsides. Stand in the Old South Meeting House and visit Fanueil Hall.

Tour Washington D.C. and see where laws are made. Tour Mount Vernon and Ford's theater. Stand at the Wall and visit all the monuments to our Nation and it's citizens.

Tour Philadelphia and see the Liberty Bell. Be moved at the National Constitution Center and visit Independence Hall. Experience where it all began.

There are thousands of stories and places and people but time is running out for some. Spend a little time with the Greatest Generation before they are all gone. Thank them for their sacrifices and humble service to America. Travel and tour the places where history was made. Do it now. Thanks, Mom and Dad...

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