Choices to make when your back is up against a wall.

This story was emailed to me.  It is very inspiring, and gives a little picture of the impact that we can have on others–for good or ill.

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
murder.


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 time.

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 him.

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 object.


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 done.

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 poem read:

“The clock of life is wound but once,
and no man has the power,

To tell just when the hands will stop, at  late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own. Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time.  For the clock may soon be  still.”

STORY NUMBER   TWO

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 fleet.

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
another  direction.
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 great man.

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 2.


SO WHAT DO THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?


Butch O’Hare was “Easy Eddie’s”  son.
(Pretty cool, eh!)

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