Shortly after the Japanese bombed our naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle led a raid to bomb Tokyo on April 18, 1942. He recruited 80 volunteers to fly 16 land-based B-25s. They took off from an aircraft carrier with roughly 500 feet of runway. The B-25s normally needed thousands of feet of runway to take off, so they were stripped and were able to lift. When they took off, they were roughly 400 miles from Tokyo and barely had enough fuel to make it. Once the mission was successfully completed they continued on and their planes crashed in the mountains in China. They parachuted out in the dark of night. Lt. Dick Cole jumped 9000 feet from his doomed bomber and ultimately landed in a tree. He had never parachuted before.
Lt. Cole died just two weeks ago at age 103 and an epic chapter in American History was closed. After the raid, the crew was soon reunited. With the Japanese in close pursuit, a harrowing escape began. Three men were killed in action, eight pilots were captured, three were executed, one died in captivity, and the remaining men made it back with the help of the Chinese. At each raider reunion, there were 80 silver goblets, one for each airman. They would drink toasts to those who had died in the previous year, then overturn the lost men’s goblets. The final goblet belonged to Lt. Dick Cole, the last of that brave group known as Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle’s Raiders.
The raid shocked the Japanese, prompting them to contract their forces and aim for Midway. In winning that battle, America began to win the war.
When you take time to remember the sacrifices that our brave men and women in the armed forces made for our freedom you should also remember this quote by Benjamin Franklin: “They who give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” You should then listen to the candidates running for president and decide if giving up your liberty for your safety, and then losing both, was worth it. Americans will decide in 2020 if they want to give up their liberty for their safety.
That is all today. Let me know if you have a question—you can call my office or simply leave a comment on this post.