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Articles > Easter: > Love in Action

Love in Action

It was a crystal clear night over the Pacific in 1942, when Butch O'Hare, flying alone in his fighter airplane, spotted nine twin-engine Japanese bombers heading toward his home base, the carrier Lexington.

What chance would I have against nine armed bombers? he argued with himself. The odds were stacked against him, but he knew if he didn't attack, these bombers could very well sink his carrier. So he attacked. Alone. O'Hare downed five of the bombers and was attacking a sixth when he ran out of ammunition. Fortunately, his comrades came to his rescue and downed the remainder of the bombers.

Because of his daring accomplishments, Lt. Cmdr. Edward Henry "Butch" O'Hare was the first naval aviator of World War II to be personally awarded the Medal of Honor by the President of the United States.

A year later, Butch was killed in aerial combat, but his home town never forgot his heroic efforts. They named their major airport in his honor.

But there's more to the story. Back in the Roaring Twenties, a slick lawyer nick-named "Artful Eddie" became deeply involved in crime with the notorious gangster Al Capone. Eddie became very wealthy but his lifestyle bothered him. So he went to the authorities to inform on Capone. He realized what this could mean because no one turns against a crime mob without paying a high price. Eddie had only one reason: his son, Butch. He didn't want him to grow up following his example, but rather, seeing a model of a good man and father.

Eddie paid dearly for squealing
on Capone – with his life.

Eddie paid dearly for squealing on Capone—with his life. He was gunned down with two shotgun blasts. Before he was, however, he had cleared his family of its underworld stain and his son was accepted for training at the U.S. Naval Academy and went on to win one of his nation's highest awards.The airport named after Butch? O'Hare International Air-port in Chicago—one of the busiest airports in the world. Its name stands as a reminder of one man who was willing to give his life to help his son make good. And of a son who was willing to risk his life to save his comrades and, in fact, gave his life to help save his country.

Another extraordinary man who gave his life to save others was described by one writer as follows:"Almost two thousand years ago there was a man born contrary to the laws of life. This man lived in poverty and was reared on obscurity. He did not travel extensively. Only once did he cross the boundary of the country in which he lived, and that was during his exile in childhood.

"He possessed neither wealth nor influence. His relatives were inconspicuous and had neither training nor formal education.

"In infancy he startled a king; in childhood he puzzled doctors; in manhood he ruled the course of nature, walked upon the billows as if pavements, and hushed the sea to sleep."He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for his service. He never wrote a book, and yet perhaps all the libraries of the world could not hold the books that have been written about him.

"He never wrote a song, and yet he has furnished the theme for more songs than all the songwriters combined.

Continued on Page Two

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.

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