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Special Edition - August 29, 2018


    Like many of you, I've been transfixed by the paeans, the tributes celebrating the character of the man and the long record of public service of Senator John Sidney McCain. I cannot remember anything or anyone with which to compare—to his life of extraordinary service to his beloved country and the accolades he so rightly deserves. I know that many, many readers have wept as I have this week, while listening to the eulogies of those closest to him.

I will surely fail to mention heroes you esteem as true American patriots, who sacrificially dedicated their lives. We are the beneficiaries of their inborn patriotism; their bravery, honesty, intelligence, determination, generosity, goodwill and circumstances for being who they are and for their answering the call of duty. I am certain that God favors us by raising up heroes like John McCain when they are needed. Here's the truly wonderful thing: we appreciate them and their values more and more as the years and generations pass.

The following are contemporaries of mine. If there are others whom you wish to add, please do so by using the eMail link at the bottom of this posting.

The first hero I followed was Charles Lindbergh, The Lone Eagle, who in 1927, made the first solo, long, risk-filled, non-stop flight across the Atlantic—The United States to France. Much later, as a civilian, he flew secret combat missions in the South Pacific against the Japanese.

It is an irony that Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our 32nd President, is next in my personal pantheon. He refused to let the intrepid flier become a member of the Air Corps, due to Lindbergh's acceptance of a medal from Nazi Germany. Himself a great American hero; being crippled by polio when a young man, FDR, as he was known, pulled the USA out of the depths of the worst economic depression ever recorded, by employing the unstinting force of his will, and then led America and our allies to victory against Germany. He literally worked himself to death. A Democrat, he won a record four presidential elections and served in that office from 1933 until his death in 1945.

Please remember Audie Murphy, one of the most decorated U.S. service members during World War II. Altogether, he received 33 decorations from U.S. and Allied forces, including the Congressional Medal of Honor, for holding off an entire company of German soldiers in one crucial battle in Europe, while suffering from three wounds. He was 19. (He was later rewarded by Hollywood by portraying himself on film).

Then, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks, a lifelong worker for civil rights, including the successful Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, is deserving of great honor. On December 1, 1955, Mrs. Parks refused to obey the order of a bus driver in Montgomery, to give up her seat to a white man on an already segregated bus, because all of  the "white section" seats were occupied. She was subsequently arrested on a charge of civil disobedience. The case bogged down in Alabama State courts, but in 1956, a panel of Federal judges ruled that segregation by the bus company is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment, requiring equal treatment of all parties under the law. This was later affirmed by a ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. The cause cost her her job as a seamstress in a Montgomery department store and she received numerous death threats. She moved to Detroit and became an icon in the civil rights cause, working for leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr. until she died at age 92, on October 24, 2005.


Phil Richardson, Observer of the Human Condition and Aggregator: A website or person that collects relative items of context from a variety of sources.

"He goes doddering on into his old age, making a public nuisance of himself."—Joseph Menchen

Our unending thanks to Jim Bromley, who programs our Archive of Prior Commentaries

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