We received a good gift just in time for Veterans Day 2014. It came from a shy reader who does not comment but faithfully reads every day. She sent us pictures a family member (David) had sent her.
One picture in particular graced us:
Talking with one of WWII’s first heroes, 99 year old Lt Col Richard Cole, who was Gen James Doolittle’s’ co-pilot on the first B-25 to take off for the raid on Tokyo. Cole is one of only four living Raiders, is still sharp as a tack. He said that he was scared, but that he didn’t want to be recognized for anything other than just doing his job.
Ninety-nine years young and Lieutenant Colonel Richard Cole can still probably get more dates than a Hollywood pinup boy. He’s a veteran that like so many has an amazing story to tell:
On December 7, 1941, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and U.S. commanders wanted to strike back. The way to do it? A secret bombing run over Japan led by airmen like Lt. Col. Richard Cole, reports CBS News correspondent Anna Werner.
He’s 98 years old now, but he still remembers the moment when he joined the mission called the “Doolittle Raid” as a 26-year-old Air Force pilot. A message on a bulletin board was seeking people who wanted to sign up for a dangerous mission.
“There were already other people’s names there, so maybe it was a little bit of inspiration,” Cole said.
CBS News met Cole at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas, where a permanent exhibit tells the story of the mission.
The pilots’ mission was to hit back by doing what no one had ever done before: take off in their B-25 bombers from the deck of an aircraft carrier in the Pacific then fly 600 miles to the Japanese coast to drop their bombs.
The man who would lead them was Gen. James Doolittle, a master in military aviation.
Cole still remembers what Doolittle said about the mission.
“He said that it was a very dangerous mission. Anybody wanted to back out, they could without any repercussions.”
No one backed out.
On the morning of April 18, 1942, they took off, headed for their key target: Tokyo. Cole and Doolittle led the fleet in their plane.
Congressional Medal of Honor winner Richard Cole and three other of Doolittle’s Raiders did a whole lot for this country. We owe them and all veterans a debt that cannot be repaid.
Lately it seems like we owe them a debt we will not repay.
Recently the Veterans’ Administration scandals insulted the memory of those who gave their lives in service to us all. The insult extends to those veterans still with us and in need of care as well as those who will one day need to be cared for. They did a lot. We are the ones that do little.
President Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address set as a point of honor that the nation would “care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan”. We have not fulfilled that debt with the honor and devotion due.
Indeed, recently, insults are freely spat upon those whose deeds provided us with that continued freedom of speech. In a shameless article at the rancid Salon Magazine a snake wrote of our veterans “You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy.” We won’t link to that anti-white racist filth although the trash can be read at other sites critical of the insult:
The best way to recognize Veterans Day is to thank a vet. Just walk up to a veteran, shake their hand and thank them for their service.
Let the fools at Salon defend their own freedoms.
The picture of Richard Cole is not the only one we received. Along with the picture of the DidAWholeLot Raider (all the pictures were taken in late October 2014 in New Orleans) we received these fun photos of these pretty planes that helped save the world from tyranny (captions by “David”):
A P-51D getting ready for takeoff:
B-17 taxiing out”:
The world’s only flying SB2-C Helldiver:
Sarah and the Victory Belles who had just performed a tribute to the Andrews Sisters. They were great singers! Brought tears to the eyes of some of the old veterans:
We salute our veterans.