Archive for Pennsylvania

R.I.P. Maj. Dick Winters, American hero

Posted in Books, History, Movies, TV, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2011 by macmystery

I first learned of Dick Winters’ death from a Facebook post by my friend Chris Otto of the York Daily-Record. He linked to a story Monday night from a Pennsylvania TV station reporting the World War II veteran’s death a week before. Here’s the Washington Post obit.

Winters became widely known, thanks to the Stephen Ambrose book and HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers,” which followed the E company, second battalion (Easy Company), of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Infantry from their formation through the Normandy invasion and on through Germany’s surrender.

As a history major, I found the book interesting, but honestly, the miniseries, produced by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks, is where I, and I’m guessing millions of other Americans, truly came to know about Winters. It’s hands down the best television I’ve ever seen.

The book, culled from interviews with surviving members of Easy Company, is historically accurate, and the miniseries follows the trend of the past 15 years where filmmakers, instead of glorifying war, have tried to accurately portray the horror and savagery of conflict and illustrate the sacrifices of those who risked or lost their lives.

Winters wasn’t originally in command of Easy Company. But just like in so many other situations in the group’s story, Winters took the reins and led by example when he was called to. He was concerned about each and every one of his men. And his men respected him for it and loved him in return.

According to the Washington Post, late in the war, one of Mr. Winters’s soldiers, Floyd Talbert, wrote a letter to the officer from a hospital in Indiana expressing gratitude for his loyalty and leadership.

“You are loved and will never be forgotten by any soldier that ever served under you,” Talbert wrote to Winters in 1945. “I would follow you into hell.”

We’ve reached a point in our history where the people who risked their lives and served their country are dying off and leaving us at an ever-increasing rate. Soon, what little first-hand knowledge we have of the great sacrifice the men like those of Easy Company made to, not only preserve our freedom, but to defeat the powers of evil, will have gone away.

I’m saddened by Winters’ passing, but I’m thankful he served. He lived to the age of 92 before losing his battle with Parkinson’s Disease. News of his death, more than a week ago, was kept quiet at his request. He didn’t seek glory. He exhibited class, even in death.

Thank you, Dick Winters. Though you may not have chosen the label, there’s no denying you are a hero.

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Sarah Palin endorses right(-wing) guy in wrong state

Posted in Humor, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 21, 2010 by macmystery

Sarah Palin, the former Queen of Alaska ... uh, no.

While she still has millions of supporters and there’s a lot of misguided (that’s me being polite) people who believe she would/should/could be president, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin proves again she’s clueless.

Apparently, Palin endorsed, via Twitter, John Raese for the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania. We have a problem, Allentown. Raese is running for the U.S. Senate in WEST VIRGINIA. 

But he can see Pennsylvania from his house … right?

I know, it could have been an honest mistake … a slip of the tongue … but it’s all part of a pattern, so that defense doesn’t work any more.

What makes the story even better? It’s possible Raese doesn’t even actually live in W.Va. He owns a business there, but his wife and kids live in Florida. Hmm.

Here’s the story.

UPDATE/ADDENDUM: Piling on Palin

I didn’t want to make a whole seperate post for fear of drawing accusations that I might be unfairly piling on Palin, but I found this story soon after the post about her erroneous endorsement.

Apparently, the Tea Party darling desecrated an American flag during a rally in one of my favorite cities, Reno, Nev. If you watch the video, I actually think she does it twice … once between the 1:30 and 1:41 mark, and then again at the very end of the video.

I don’t know how big a deal this really is. This falls under the same sort of category as flag burning. But I’d be willing to bet that Tea Party supporters are the type of people who think flag burners should be prosecuted. So logically, they should be just as upset by this. But I have a feeling they aren’t.

Here’s a link to the story. And here’s just the video from The Guardian, if you’d like to avoid the commentary of the first website.