Thursday, November 01, 2007

A True Hero Passes

One of the reasons I like to blog is the off chance that maybe I can bring attention to a story or two that will get little or no attention. This story is a perfect example of one which will probably get zero notice by the New York Times and MSNBC. But forget all that. Today, a true American hero died. Paul Tibbets, passed away at the age of 92.

Tibbets, piloted the B-29 bomber that he named the "Enola Gay" after his mother and dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, which essentially ended World War II. The U.S. would drop a second bomb a few days later on Nagasaki. Japan may not recognize their atrocities during World War II and certainly there are enough people in this country who like to make America out to be the bad guys. However, what Tibbets did was save the lives of perhaps two million people. If the bombs were not effective, the U.S. would have launched a full-scale invasion, that best case scenario would have killed hundreds of thousands of American servicemen.

The "Little Boy" bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945 and killed or injured 140,000 people. Incidentally, before the bomb could be loaded onto the B-29 bomber, it was delivered to the island of Tinian by the USS Indianapolis, which is also an amazing story of bravery. For more on that go here.

Tibbets, was certain of his mission and believed until the day he died, that what he did was right. Yes, he realized there would be many people who would die, but the mission prevented the deaths of so many thousands more. Many of the freedoms we enjoy today are as a result of the brave actions of men like Paul Tibbets. Too bad not enough Americans will recognize this true hero.

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