Monday, November 11, 2013

Dolittle In 30 Seconds Not 15 Minutes For A Lifetime Of Fame

Several days prior to Veterans' Day November 11, 2013 three of the last four survivors of the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo gathered on what would be the last toast to the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo and to the souls of the seventy-six airmen who are no longer with us. Anyone as Warhol once said can have fifteen minutes of fame, but few very few perform acts of courage and bravery climaxed by only thirty seconds over a target that last a lifetime and go into the memories of all future generations if we the living and the civilians, who enjoy the freedoms our veterans have died or bleed to insure those freedoms, honor our veterans.

30 Seconds of Fame A Lifetime of Honor
In the dark days of World War II with American forces in full retreat
A Japanese juggernaut unstoppable, looking immune to any chance of defeat
On April 18, 1942, 80 pilots and crew too soon launched from their Hornet’s nest
On a one way ride to Japan to the myth of invincibility sting to arrest
A B-25 is a bomber, had no place on a pitching, heaving carrier deck
Desperate measures to in our days of  doom and despair, hope to inject
Launched too soon, not enough fuel, to bomb and reach Chinese landing strips
Even shedding weight, adding jerry cans of fuel, a one way odds-against-survival trip
No hesitation, no delay, no debate, into the wind, bomb laden into the sky
One way ticket, one way trip, throttle forward into the day you will likely die
30 seconds or so pinpricking the Japanese invincible myths
At point of release they did not know it, but the winds of war would shift
Three crewmen were lost, three captured and put to the sword
Seventy-four survived crash landings or internment as home morale soared
And now only four, in bodies aged and somewhat frail
Alive to all who should listen tell their heroic tail
Anyone can have fifteen minutes of fame and then fade
Not so the eighty defying death on the Doolittle Raid
Years from now when the last of the Great Generation has long since passed away
We pray that we will still honor the achievements of courage on that April 18th day

© November 11, 2013 Michael P. Ridley aka the Alaskanpoet

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