The choices we make have a powerful impact...
STORY NUMBER ONE
Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago .
Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the
windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to
Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie." He was
Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill
at legal maneuvering kept Big Al out of jail for a long
To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well.
Not only was the money big, but Eddie got special dividends, as well.. For
instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and
all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an
entire Chicago City block.
Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave
little consideration to the atrocity that went on around
Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son
that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and
a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no
And, despite his involvement with organized crime,
Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a
better man than he was.
Yet, with all his wealth and
influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son; he couldn't pass on a
good name or a good example.
One day, Easy Eddie reached a
difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had
He decided he would go to the
authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his
tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. To do this, he
would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great.
But, he testified.
Within the year, Easy Eddie's life
ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street . But in his eyes, he
had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he
could ever pay Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious
medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine.
"The clock of life is wound but once,
and no man has the
to tell just when the
hands will stop,
at late or
Now is the only
time you own.
Live, love, toil
with a will.
Place no faith in
For the clock may soon be
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was
Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare.
He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft
carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
One day his entire squadron was sent on a
mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that
someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank.
He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission
and get back to his ship.
His flight leader told him to return to the carrier.
Reluctantly, he dropped out of formation and headed back to the
As he was returning to the mother ship, he saw
something that turned his blood cold; a squadron of Japanese aircraft was
speeding its way toward the American fleet.
The American fighters were gone on a sortie, and the
fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn't reach his squadron and bring them
back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching
danger. There was only one thing to do. He must somehow divert them from the fleet.
Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove
into the formation of Japanese planes.
Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he
charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in
and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many planes as possible
until all his ammunition was finally spent.
Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the
planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes
as possible, rendering them unfit to fly.
Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in
Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter
limped back to the carrier.
Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event
surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told
the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet.
He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft.
This took place on February 20, 1942 , and for that
action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II, and the first Naval Aviator
to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.
A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the
age of 29. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade,
and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this
So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare
International, give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his
statue and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and
SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH
Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son.