Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump, Bush and the Meaning of Sacrifice

“Sacrifice,” is a word whose meaning has been watered down over time, particularly when considering the personal sacrifices our leaders have made in defense of, or in allegiance to, this wonderful country of ours.
Consider our 41st president, George Herbert Walker Bush. Over the weekend, President Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital for complications resulting from pneumonia. Sadly, former First Lady Barbara Bush was admitted alongside her husband for precautionary measures. It is times like this when a nation’s gratitude, like an emotion long buried, comes rushing back. His sacrifice for his country is something to behold.
This, from a 2003 profile of James Bradley’s book, Flyboys in The Telegraph:
The former President George Bush narrowly escaped being beheaded and eaten by Japanese soldiers when he was shot down over the Pacific in the Second World War, a shocking new history published in America has revealed.
The book, Flyboys, is the result of historical detective work by James Bradley, whose father was among the marines later photographed raising the flag over the island of Iwo Jima.
Lt. George Bush, then a 20-year-old pilot, was among nine airmen who escaped from their planes after being shot down during bombing raids on Chichi Jima, a tiny island 700 miles south of Tokyo, in September 1944 – and was the only one to evade capture by the Japanese.
The horrific fate of the other eight “flyboys” was established in subsequent war crimes trials on the island of Guam, but details were sealed in top secret files in Washington to spare their families distress.
Mr. Bradley has established that they were tortured, beaten and then executed, either by beheading with swords or by multiple stab-wounds from bayonets and sharpened bamboo stakes. Four were then butchered by the island garrison’s surgeons and their livers and meat from their thighs eaten by senior Japanese officers.
Decades later, President Bush returned to the tiny Pacific island ...
Read the rest of this op-ed HERE.

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