Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (US Army) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 6, 1944, during the Normandy invasion. His citation reads:
For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in France. After 2 verbal requests to accompany the leading assault elements in the Normandy invasion had been denied, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt's written request for this mission was approved and he landed with the first wave of the forces assaulting the enemy-held beaches. He repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland. His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France.
Seaman George Rose (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on June 13 and 20-22, 1900, at Peking, China. His citation reads:
In the presence of the enemy during the battles at Peking, China, 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. Throughout this period, Rose distinguished himself by meritorious conduct. While stationed as a crewmember of the U.S.S. Newark, he was part of its landing force that went ashore off Taku, China. on 31 May 1900, he was in a party of 6 under John McCloy (MH) which took ammunition from the Newark to Tientsin. On 10 June 1900, he was one of a party that carried dispatches from LaFa to Yongstsum at night. On the 13th he was one of a few who fought off a large force of the enemy saving the Main baggage train from destruction. On the 20th and 21st he was engaged in heavy fighting against the Imperial Army being always in the first rank. On the 22d he showed gallantry in the capture of the Siku Arsenal. He volunteered to go to the nearby village which was occupied by the enemy to secure medical supplies urgently required. The party brought back the supplies carried by newly taken prisoners.
Machinist Donald Kirby Ross (US Navy) received his Medal of Honor for his actions on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii. His citation reads:
For distinguished conduct in the line of his profession, extraordinary courage and disregard of his own life during the attack on the Fleet in Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii, by Japanese forces on 7 December 1941. When his station in the forward dynamo room of the U.S.S. Nevada became almost untenable due to smoke, steam, and heat, Machinist Ross forced his men to leave that station and performed all the duties himself until blinded and unconscious. Upon being rescued and resuscitated, he returned and secured the forward dynamo room and proceeded to the after dynamo room where he was later again rendered unconscious by exhaustion. Again recovering consciousness he returned to his station where he remained until directed to abandon it.
Today I’d like to wish my cousin Louis a VERY HAPPY 36th BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t get to see him nearly as much as I’d like to these days, but we had a lot of fun growing up together. Our pictures today will focus on the Birthday Boy.
I might have talked about this recently… I can’t remember. So I’ll talk about it again. I’m not a big fan of war. I like Star Wars… and I like reading books about wars… I even enjoy war movies (especially those old WWII movies), but actual war I don’t like. I’d rather laugh than fight. I’d rather countries settle their differences with sports… or perhaps with dance-offs. And in a perfect world, perhaps that’s how things would be. Sadly, this is not a perfect world. I know a lot of people would like for the US to stay out of the Middle East. Just leave that area alone, they say. If only it were that easy. Sometimes, though, wars must be fought. Maybe this is one of those times, maybe it isn’t… decisions like that are a little above my pay grade. But I will say this: If it’s worth going to war, then go to war. War isn’t something you should tip-toe into. There’s a politician I’m sure some of you young people probably don’t know by the name of Winston Churchill… perhaps the greatest war-time politician the world has seen. Originally from James Island*, he was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdome during a little misunderstanding known as World War II. (*I haven’t been able to confirm this, but it feels right, so I’m going to stick with it for now). Anyway, while Hitler was running through France like a Kentucky running back (#3) running through the USC defense, Churchill said this:
“You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us: to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: Victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”
On the off chance people weren’t clear on what he was thinking, he said a few weeks later…
“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the Old.”
Note, he didn’t say “We will not have boots on the ground” or “This will be a limited action”. Nope, he said evil was on the move and it must be stopped. The time for “live and let live” had come and gone… now was the time for “live and let die”. This was something worth fighting… and thus it would be an “all-in” fight. I don’t know how many men fought for the Allies in WWII, but my guess would be: all that were available. However many that was, if twice as many had been available, then twice as many would have fought. My point is this… if it’s worth sending a few pilots over there to bomb the place, then send a bunch of pilots (and soldiers). Whatever size military force you think it will take to win… double it, triple it… if possible, send ten times the force. Fairness is a good policy for U4 soccer, but war is about winning. As Sean Connery’s character Jim Malone said in The Untouchables, “He pulls a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue!”
So, the other day I needed to run to the gas station to get something. Daniel had on underwear and a t-shirt… he wanted to go with me, so I told him to put some shorts on. About 10 minutes later I ask him if he’s ready to go. “Yep!” he yelled as he came out of his room… nude. This is the kind of stuff I have to deal with.
Former Charleston Police Chief Reuben Greenberg died a couple of weeks ago. I’ll never forget the warning he gave looters after Hurricane Hugo… We’re going to shoot first and ask questions later. It was the kind of thing that would give the politically correct crowd a heart attack… but it also made people think if he’s crazy enough to say it, he might just be crazy enough to do it. The city was a lot safer with him in charge.
|Aunt Yvonne, Louis, Mom and me|
|Front Row: Louis and me; Back Row: Aunt Yvonne, Teresa Lynn, Granny and Sonny|
|Mom, me, Aunt Yvonne and Louis|
|They wanted to hold their babies|
|Louis, me, Alan and Susan (with Granny in the background)|
|Alan, me and Louis... We had said no pictures|
|Teresa Lynn, MaMa, me, Louis, Sonny and Jason|
|Me, Louis, Sonny, Susan and Teresa Lynn|
|Me and Louis|
|Alan, me and Louis|
|Not sure who the girl is... but then it's me, Alan, Mickey Mouse and Louis|