Yes, there is something good to be found in television.  The signal-to-noise ratio may be terrible, but there's good, too, and today's Memorial Day post was inspired by two shows I saw parts of recently.  If the people I honor today didn't give their lives in service to their country, they certainly gave much of their lives to that service.

The first honored the WASPS of World War II, the Women's Airforce Service Pilots, whose courageous story, and our country's shameful response, has finally been told.  For too long the first female American military pilots were not only denied veteran's benefits but treated as if their service had never existed.  The battle for recognition was a long, slow process, though it kicked into high gear when the military began touting a much-later set of women as the first.  You know that an injustice has been done when a cause for which conservative Senator Barry Goldwater fought so strenuously was later acknowledged as right by President Barack Obama.  You can see the trailer at this link; I haven't managed to embed it here.  Nor does it work for me in Firefox, but it did in Chrome.

The second show mentioned the Hump pilots, also of World War II, and the gratitude the Chinese people still feel towards them.  Naturally I thought of Colonel William Bryan Westfall, Hump pilot and veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.  I never met him, as he died before his grandson married our daughter, but I'm grateful to him, for his remarkable military service—and for his family legacy.

Happy Memorial Day to all, and Whit Monday as well, for those of you privileged to live where that holiday is honored, even if its meaning, like that of Memorial Day, is often lost except as an excuse to celebrate.

Posted by sursumcorda on Monday, May 25, 2015 at 10:10 am | Edit
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