Memorial Day Honors – A Final Toast
I am away from the computer for a week but wanted something to honor American military courage and the bravery of our American aviation ancestors. Too often now, we look to honor the action hero over the courage of crews of men. These men flew a mission very likely to kill them at a moment when the psychological effects of their actions were more important than their success.
In their time, they were famous. I have watched only portions of the film in their honor but will seek to do so again. I also highly recommend Twelve O’Clock High, which shows the terrible courage needed in the Eighth Air Force (in which my uncle served).
Sometimes courage is just doing your job under horrific circumstances. Sometimes understatement comes from those who do. My uncle’s strongest line dealt with how he took up whisky. They debriefed the men with scotch when they returned and he was a tea totaler until a certain day. “And then we flew over Berlin…” From that day forward, he took his whisky ration.
On this day, I honor the men of the Dolittle Raid and the Eighth Air Force (who took casualties over 50%) for doing their job under horrific circumstances. Honor to you and I shall drink for you this day.