2 great stories; one great impact
- 11-15-2007, 12:48 PM
2 great stories; one great impact
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 also, 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 clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing
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; he couldn't pass on a
good name or 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 could ever pay.
Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious
medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine. The poem read:
The clock of life is wound but once, And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time. For the clock may soon be still.
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 were 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 another. 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 dove 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
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 be
awarded 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.
SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?
Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's son.
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