Archive for the ‘Oh Bits!’ Category

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Jeremiah Denton died today.

He was 89 years old.

He was also a Senator for Alabama, but that’s not why he is the subject of this post, after all we don’t hold politicians in very high regard here.

Jeremiah Denton

No, Jeremiah Denton is being remembered for his time in service in the Navy, and mostly because of the period he spent as a Prisoner Of War courtesy of the North Vietnamese.

In all he spent almost eight years as a POW in North Vietnam (four of them in solitary confinement). He later wrote a book about his experiences, which in turn became a movie.

At the time Denton was US Naval Aviator and was the Commanding Officer of Attack Squadron Seventy-Five aboard the aircraft carrier USS Independence.

On 18 July 1965, while he and Lieutenant Bill Tschudy, his navigator/bombardier, were leading twenty-eight planes on a bombing mission, their jet was hit by enemy fire and the two men ejected over the city of Thanh Hoa in North Vietnam, where they were captured and taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese.

Denton is best known for a 1966 televised press conference in which he was forced to participate as an American POW by his North Vietnamese captors.

During the press conference Denton had the presence of mind to use the opportunity to send a coded message confirming for the first time to the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence and Americans that American POWs were being tortured in North Vietnam.

To send his message Denton repeatedly blinked his eyes in Morse code during the interview, spelling out the word, “T-O-R-T-U-R-E”.

He was also questioned about his support for the U.S. war in Vietnam, to which he replied: “I don’t know what is happening, but whatever the position of my government is, I support it fully. Whatever the position of my government, I believe in it, yes sir. I am a member of that government, and it is my job to support it, and I will as long as I live.”

jeremiah-denton-captive

While a prisoner, he was promoted to the rank of Captain. Denton was later awarded the Navy Cross and several other decorations, mostly for heroism while a prisoner of war.

These days loyalty and initiative are not as valued as they once were, or as they should be. Anyone who had such values during their lifetime is worth remembering.

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For those interested you can read more on Wikipedia or do a search on Google.

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“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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One would imagine that cemeteries would be rather sad and sullen places, and at the time of a bereavement I suppose they are for the relatives concerned. 

But with the passage of time or if you aren’t personally involved they can also be places of great historical interest. 

And they can be places where one can find a great deal of humor. 

Nowadays people seem to be less and less emotionally prepared and equipped to handle and understand death.

In the past this was not the case. 

If proof of the latter were needed all one has to do is to look at the inscriptions on some of the headstones found in old cemeteries. 

Here are a few examples of what I mean. 

Enjoy.

an atheist's tomb

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Ann Mann 

Here lies Ann Mann, 

Who lived an old maid 

But died an old Mann. 

Dec. 8, 1767

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Here lies my wife:

Here let her lie! 

Now she’s at rest

And so am I.

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He was young

He was fair

But the Injuns

Raised his hair

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Here lies the body

Of Margaret Bent

She kicked up her heels

And away she went.

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Rebecca Freeland

1741

She drank good ale,

good punch and wine

And lived to the age of 99.

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Stranger tread

This ground with gravity.

Dentist Brown

Is filling his last cavity.

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Here lies the father of 29.

He would have had more

But he didn’t have time.

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Here lies the body of poor Aunt Charlotte.

Born a virgin, died a harlot.

For 16 years she kept her virginity

A damn’d long time for this vicinity.

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Here lies the body of Mary Ann Lowder

She burst while drinking a Seidlitz powder.

Called from this world to her heavenly rest,

She should have waited till it effervesced.

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Blown upward

out of sight:

He sought the leak

by candlelight

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His foot it slipt

and he did fall.

“Help; Help” he cried

and that was all.

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Sir John Strange 

Here lies an honest lawyer, 

And that is Strange.

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She lived with her husband fifty years

And died in the confident hope of a better life.

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Here Lies Mary Smith 

Silent At Last

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Here lies

Johnny Yeast

Pardon me

For not rising.

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Memory of an accident in a Uniontown, Pennsylvania cemetery:

Here lies the body

of Jonathan Blake

Stepped on the gas

Instead of the brake.

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In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:

Here lays Butch,

We planted him raw.

He was quick on the trigger,

But slow on the draw.

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Lester Moore was a Wells, Fargo Co. station agent for Naco, Arizona in the cowboy days of the 1880’s.

He is buried in the Boot Hill Cemetery in Tombstone, Arizona:

headstone Lester Moore

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On Margaret Daniels grave at Hollywood Cemetery Richmond, Virginia:

She always said her feet were killing her

but nobody believed her.

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Owen Moore

Gone away

Owin’ more

Than he could pay.

Battersea, London, England

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In a North Carolina cemetery on the headstone of a spinster postmistress:

Returned–Unopened

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headstone Mel Blanc - That's All Folks

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