A “thank you” for Perry Smith’s informative and heartfelt column “Remembering Jimmy Doolittle – a true hero by any measure” (April 15). It never ceases to amaze me how writers of Smith’s caliber somehow can manage to capture past history with newfound and respecful enthusiasm. His description of the quiet and genteel manner of Mr. Doolittle reflects the rare character of that World War II “Greatest Generation.”
Briefly, about two years ago, a friend’s father died who had served in World War II. As the preparations were being discussed about a military funeral, it was revealed that the gentleman had served with the U.S. Army Air Corps group that had launched the Doolittle Raid. This was a complete shock to my friend and his family, as his father had never mentioned this endeavor. His father warranted burial at Arlington National Cemetery in lieu of his hometown in which the service had been previously planned.
Such is yet another story about the quiet resolve of that Greatest Generation. Along the lines of that Greatest Generation, I am perpetually reminded of the sacrifice made by Jimmy Dyess, who served with my father in the 4th Marine Division, Pacific Theater. To most, obviously, Dyess is just another name on another highway.
Seemingly, it could be that we all could learn to follow the quiet nature of this Greatest Generation, and learn to do a little more listening and a little less talking. Not only do we have a lot to be thankful for, but a lot to live up to.