Big Chuck Meets Four Heroes in Arlington Cemetery (VIDEO)
Two weeks ago I was in Arlington Cemetery with the Eastern Travel Safety Patrol trip. After my presentation to the students at the Amphitheater, I walked around.
You just never know who you are going to meet in Arlington. Take a look.
Evans F. Carlson was born in Sidney where his father was the minister of the Congregational church, which still stands at the Sidney bridge. Carlson left Sidney as a teenager and ran away to Vermont. He later studied the guerrilla military tactics in China. He marched thousands of miles throughout inland China with Mao and his
leaders in their insurgency war. Carlson later employed what he learned in China by establishing one of the first Ranger Corps in the U.S. Military. Carlson's Raiders were one of the earliest and most storied Ranger groups in World War II. A movie was made of their exploits, titled "Gung Ho," with actor Randolph Scott playing Carlson.
Carlson was a close friend of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was "Sidney's Hero," Brig. General Evans F. Carlson who coined the U.S. Marine slogan "Gung Ho," which basically means one for all and all for one. It is still used today. He died in Portland, Oregon on May 27, 1947 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Let's meet another hero at Arlington.....
The legendary Joe Louis was the reigning heavyweight boxing champion of the world from 1937-1949. When World War II interrupted his career, "The Brown Bomber" enlisted as a private in the U.S. Army at Camp Upton on Long Island. When asked his
occupation Louis replied, "I am a fighter, so let me at the Japs." His promotional boxing appearances brought high morale to the servicemen around the world. He faced racism from white MPs and soldiers in many quarters and many times escaped from a situation through the intervention of superior officers. You wonder if those that "challenged" Louis knew who he was. That he was a man who defended his boxing crown 13 times in two years!
Joe Louis died April 12, 1981 at the age of 66. Even today, Joe "The Brown Bomber" Louis is still ranked as the #1 boxer of all time by the International Boxing Association. He remained a beloved American sports hero to the end. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C. His tomb carries a sculpture on the front of it bearing the likeness of Louis in his famous boxing stance.
Now lets meet another hero with a name very close to home.....
Abner Doubleday is a name very familiar to all of us in Central New York. He was born in Ballston Spa and of course his name is forever inextricable linked to Cooperstown and the "birthplace of baseball." While that achievement (the father of the sport) is now questioned by many, his achievements in service to our great nation cannot be denied.
Maj. Gen. Doubleday was a key leader in the Union battles during the Civil War. He played an integral part in the victory at Gettysburg, and in fact a large monument is there today paying tribute to his leadership. His most storied achievement on the battlefield came during the Battle of Gettysburg when his 9,000 Union troops withstood a vicious five hour attack by more than 16,000 Confederate troops on Cemetery Hill.
He was a confidante of President (and General) U.S. Grant. While his introduction of formalized baseball to the country has been fairly well debunked, he did get the patent for the initial cable car system that still runs in San Francisco today!.
Doubleday died in 1893 at the age of 73 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
And the final of the four heroes I met during my stroll around Arlington Cemetery.....
Audie Murphy was a Texas farmboy when he enlisted in the U.S. Army after the attack on Pearl Harbor in December, 1941. He had to lie about his age because he was too young to enlist. Because he was so youthful looking, the Army tried to keep in out of combat doing cooking chores. But Murphy would have none of that. He finally made his way into combat and served valiantly.
Murphy is the most decorated soldier to emerge from World War II. From his very humble beginnings he rose to great fame and legend in the U.S. Army. He won every single
combat medal offered, including the Medal of Honor. His story has been told in books, movies and television shows. Murphy was one of the greatest heros to come out of World War II. After the war he was a spokesman for "post traumatic stress disorder," from which he suffered. Then referred to as only "combat fatigue" it was Murphy who helped elevate the national discussion about PTSD. There is a center for the study named after him in San Antonio, Texas.
Murphy died in 1971 in a plane crash. He was just 45. "The Most Decorated Soldier of Them All" is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
On this Memorial Day let us honor these four heroes and ALL who served our great nation.