Monday, February 20, 2006

Medal of Honor Winner Not Worthy of Memorial Statue at Univ. of Washington.

Gregory “Pappy” Boyington served as a combat pilot in World War II with the 1st Squadron, American Volunteer Group. This squadron was known as the Flying Tigers of China. Boyington later served as a combat pilot for the U.S. Marine Corps. He commanded Marine Fighting Squadron 214. You may have heard of this squadron before. It was called the Black Sheep Squadron and was later featured in a TV series called "Baa Baa, Black Sheep." Boyington is credited for shooting down 26 Japanese fighter planes while serving in the Pacific. He was later shot down and captured by the enemy. He spent 20 months in the worst place you could possibly end up during WW II, a Japanese POW camp. Unfortunately, most of you probably didn’t learn a whole lot about World War II history other than we were attacked at Pearl Harbor by the Japanese and we fought Hitler and the Nazis in Europe and won.

Anyways, a Japanese POW camp was about the last place you wanted to be. In fact the torture was so bad in these camps, and we are talking about real torture, not some Abu Ghraib let me take a snapshot of you naked on a human pyramid kind of torture, that many Allied troops would refuse surrender and fight until the death just to avoid capture. Pappy Boyington survived the Japanese POW camp and after the war Pappy Boyington was awarded the Navy Cross and the Medal of Honor. He died in 1988. You can visit his grave in Arlington National Cemetery.

Pappy Boyington is a graduate of the University of Washington. Just recently, Student Senator member Andrew Everett, proposed the idea of erecting a memorial on the campus of the University of Washington to honor this great American Hero who served in WW II, was shot down, captured by the enemy, later awarded the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross made its way to the student senate. Now you would think that building some sort of monument would seem fitting and be a good idea wouldn’t you. After all “Pappy” has earned it.

Well not so fast...Member of the Student Senate Jill Edwards, and leader of the Student Democrat Party at U of W, doesn't seem to agree. When the discussion of a resolution calling for a tribute to Pappy Boyington came up Student senate member Jill Edwards immediately tried to side track the resolution. She wanted other issues to be considered. Another member said that the issue was at the top of the agenda and should be dealt with. There was then some discussion on why Andrew Everett wanted the memorial. Everett responded that Colonel Boyington "had many of the qualities the University of Washington hoped to produce in its students." Well... that's when Jill Edwards spoke up and showed her true feelings on the subject. She questioned whether it was appropriate to honor a person who killed other people. Then Jill Edwards said that a member of the Marine Corps was not an example of the sort of person the University of Washington wanted to produce.

There you have it. Jill Edwards, a junior in Mathematics at the University of Washington, says that a U.S. Marine is NOT the example of the sort of person that the University of Washington wants to produce. To all of you men and women out there who have served with pride in the United States Marine Corps; to those of you who fought in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Middle East, Jill Edwards, student senate member at the University of Washington, thinks that you are unworthy to be graduates of the University of Washington.

Oh and she is not the only one that was opposed to this memorial on the U of W student senate. Senate member Karl Smith wanted to amend the resolution to eliminate a clause that said Boyington "was credited with destroying 26 enemy aircraft, tying the record for most aircraft destroyed by a pilot in American Uniform," for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.

Smith, according to the minutes, said "the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington's service, not his killing of others."

Ashley Miller says that there are already enough monuments at UW commemorating "rich white men." Well, I guess you have to get that racist wealth-envy stuff in there somewhere. However, I wonder if it would have made a difference to Ashley if she knew that Pappy Boyington was not rich and wasn't even white!!!

According to a blogger who host a blog named Parodosis who says he met Boyington on numerous occasions at museums and air shows over the years noted the famous flyer "was no rich boy," having grown up in a struggling family in which he was forced to work hard to make it through school and never lived off government grants...personally I wonder if those students who "shot this memorial down" could remotely say the same. He also pointed out Boyington was part Sioux.

Don't you just love these young college kids? Most of them have never faced a day in the real world. Never, held a real job, never had to work to pay the rent. Most of them go to class, live off their student loans with out a worry in the world yet they have all of the answers to every problem facing mankind.

It also seems that many do not even have the realization or the appreciation that brave men and women fought and currently fight so that they could have the opportunity to live in the greatest nation in the world and without the sacrifices of such great Americans like Pappy Boyington they wouldn't even have the many freedoms that they enjoy on a daily basis.

One must wonder, with these college kids ability to so quickly judge and compare our war veterans as murderers, what are they being taught in college and if they truly believe that our veterans are murderers instead of heroes then they do not deserve one minute of freedom from the amount of time that has been sacrificed on their behalf.

Of course, not all the students at the University of Washington have lost there mind. Brent Ludeman, president of the university's College Republicans said, the decision "reflects poorly on the university.""Pappy Boyington went beyond the call of duty to serve and protect this country and he simply deserves better," Ludeman said. "Just last year, the university erected a memorial to diversity. Why can't we do the same for Pappy Boyington and others who have defended our country?"

In deed, why can't we?

To me, men like Pappy Boyington capture the meaning of the American Spirit standing against what is wrong to make it right at any cost to include giving their life proudly so that others may live theres in freedom.

These students at the University of Washington haven't earned the right to speak on behalf of Col. Boyington and as it would appear they have not fully "studied" the subject of their debate. Boyington, like so many others in the complete history of our country are no more than common men who displayed uncommon valor in the face of adversity. I ask each of those members of the Student Senate that opposed or spoke out in such disdain towards Boyington: What have any of you done for your country and countrymen that comes anywhere close to the uncommon valor displayed by Col. Boyington or anyone who has fought in any war for the protection, preservation and survival of this great nation?

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