Almost 20 years after his death and more than 60 years after he received the Medal of Honor, flamboyant Marine aviator, Maj. Gregory "Pappy" Boyington is again at the center of a battle.
Boyington's Medal was actually awarded posthumously; shot down in 1943, he was presumed dead, but survived internment in a Jap POW camp. Cheating death one last time, he returned home to a well-earned hero's welcome and the history books.
But a couple of folks in Coeur d'Alene Idaho, Boyington's hometown, have opposed renamaing the local airport in his honor. It seems some frilly panties on the Board of Kootenai County Commissioners took no action on the a request by local veterans and citizens. The proposition died.
Many believe it was Boyington's hard-living and hard-drinking reputation that apparently bothered two of the commissioners who blocked action on the proposal last summer. Ironically, they did not survive their re-election campaigns. Their replacements seem to be in favor of the renaming.
It's just like I was saying the other day... there are some Americans to whom this society gives a pass (the best known pedophile in the world, Michael Jackson, was the guest of honor at James Brown's funeral recently)... Boyington, apparently isn't one of them.
So with luck, later this month "Boyington Field" may become a reality.... but thanks only to the wide-spread support of veterans, pilots and others who believe the Duty, Honor, Country is more than enough reason to re-name a small landing strip.
Interesting contrast this weekend... the deaths and funerals of two national leaders. One was given the full honors of his nation and the respect of his countrymen. He returned to the nation's capitol to lie in repose with the pomp and circumstance rendered as only the U.S. military can.
The other shuffled to the gallows where his countrymen roughly placed a noose around his neck and intentionally provoked him during his final moments. With absolutely no warning, he was dropped to his fate and without ceremony, zipped into a rubber bag, then tossed in the back of a van.
Sic semper tyrannis.
It must be said, however, that Saddam got the last word... as reported: "The guards chanted the name of the Shi’ite firebrand cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. “Who is Moqtada?” — Saddam sneered."
And speaking of... Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong who has single-handedly ruined three innocent young men's lives, ended their lacrosse coach's career, defamed their some 40 teammates and ended the Duke teams' season... is finally in the cross-hairs.
The feds have or soon will enter the case, and Nifong and the county will be sued for most everything their possess and the North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys (sic--so they can't spell) has called for his resignation.
In the midst of the Duke case, Nifong was running for re-election. He needed votes; he got them by the racist ploy of illegally prosecuting three white male students on the lies of a black hooker.
Obviously the race card worked well enough in some parts of the community to get him re-elected.
I'm surprised race baiter Al Sharpton didn't fly the hooker out to Brown's funeral... ala Tawana Brawley... same song, different verse.
Like the man said... "Where do I go to get my reputation back? I hope the Duke Three get enough money to crush Durham County; a lesson needs to be taught;
Nifong needs jail time.
So as we approach the New Year here at Southern Command HQ, Americans distract themselves with alcohol, football games and photos of Britney Spears.
All I can say is good riddance to '06... we did not acquit ourselves in any admirable manner, save our troops' conduct around the world. The rest of us are culpable.
Our politicians have not just fallen asleep at the switch; they've fallen asleep in their lunch. Not since the mid-1770s have so many Americans contributed so little to the American struggle.
We have no Churchill; we have Chamberlains in spades.
Keep your powder dry and your eyes open.