Sixty-nine years ago today, the B-29 Superfortress “Dinah Mite” made the first emergency landing on Iwo Jima. The battle for the tiny sulfur island was still raging as she landed.
7,000 young US Marines and 21,000 young Japanese soldiers died violent deaths for this tiny sulfur island.
(Note: Combat was still going on the left side of the makeshift runway as they were landing. Although the B-29 was repaired and left the same day, she returned a month later for another emergency landing. She was so heavily damaged that Dinah Might was abandoned.)
But there are four Americans whom I believe – BELIEVE – needlessly died at the hands of terrorists on 9/11 last year.
The four who died are pictured above…along with their names.
For argument’s sake, let’s say the firefight DID last about eight hours…that it wasn’t over in a flash.
For argument’s sake, let’s say there were drones videoing the attacks.
For argument’s sake, let’s say there was a gunship up in the air with her dedicated crew’s fingers on the triggers of very accurate weapons. Well, their fingers were on very accurate targeting systems, not triggers.
For argument’s sake, let’s say the attack took place on any OTHER day instead of 9/11.
For argument’s sake, let’s say that the two former SEALs – our BEST – were killed SEVEN hours after pleas for help went out.
The deceased souls parents want to know. Here is just one letter from one mother to Congress. It’s a link so please feel free to click on it:
The mother was there when her son’s body – in a flag-draped casket – was off-loaded in Washington, DC.
(Yes. President Obama and Hillary were there.)
Our country needs to heal.
Not just about Benghazi…but about nearly everything.
We are divided – right down the middle, it seems.
But what happened to CHARACTER?
A person I like to follow is Michael Josephson. He “teaches” folks about ethics and character. I would like to close this blog with this excerpt from one of his commentaries:
“The way we treat people we think can’t help or hurt us — like housekeepers, waiters, and secretaries — tells more about our character than how we treat people we think are important. How we behave when we think no one is looking or when we don’t think we will get caught more accurately portrays our character than what we say or do in service of our reputations.
Of course, our assessment of a person’s character is an opinion and it isn’t always right. Abraham Lincoln recognized an important difference between character and reputation. “Character,” he said “is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”
Because the shape of a shadow is determined by the angle of light and the perspective of the observer, it’s not a perfect image of the tree. In the same way, reputation is not always an accurate reflection of character. Some people derive more benefit from their reputation than they deserve; others are better than their reputations.
Still, reputation matters. It determines how others think of us and treat us and whether we are held in high or low esteem. That’s why many people and organizations are so preoccupied with their image that they actually undermine their character by concealing or creating facts to make them look better. It’s ironic that reputations are often the result of dishonesty or the lack of accountability.”
Hillary… No more conveniently-timed strokes or falls or other ills.
Parents want to know what happened and why their sons are no longer with them.
We want to know why NOTHING has been done to go after these terrorists, some of whom were in PICTURES…on the INTERNET. It’s been eight months, for heaven’s sake.
All familiar names to us with a common thread – they helped create the lore of the rough and tough cowboy.
Killing eight bad guys with their Colt .45 six-shooters. Without reloading. Bullets would glance off them as if they were slickered with the world’s supply of Vaseline.
Make that a non-stick coating.
With that, let’s get into the lore – and the truths – of the samurai.
Yes, Japan had their John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Kirk Douglas creating the samurai lore. Not to bore you with the names of key Japanese actors portraying samurai, but Toshiro Mifune is their John Wayne. You may have seen him playing Lord Toranaga in the 1980 TV mini-series “Shogun” opposite Richard Chamberlain.
Let’s give you a taste of the movie “lore” created in Japan. This compilation is of “Zatoichi” (座頭一), a blind swordsman of all things. He is portrayed by Katsu Shintaro, another famous actor. Think of him as Sean Connery in a series of films; instead of James Bond, it is Zatoichi.
His character is a very entertaining combination of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood and Jackie Chan, all rolled into one fantasy character. The lore. No need to watch the entire thing, of course; its intent is to expose you to the samurai lore.
In these fictional fight sequences (What am I saying? It’s a movie!), Zatoichi slays up to 40 bad guys with his one sword, i.e., eight guys with a six shooter.
Incorrect. More like 20 bad guys with a six-shooter.
Yes, Zatoichi is smothered in Japan’s supply of Vaseline…and there is no guard (tsuba 鍔) on the sword to protect his pinky.
Anyways, I’m sure you have a flavor of the samurai lore by now.
Did any of you watch the entire clip? Better than the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (which really didn’t happen in the O.K. Corral, by the way)?
Let’s begin the first OMG Samurai Truth with a simple question based on Western culture:
When Colt made a six shooter, how did they test its accuracy? After all, no cowboy would want to aim at a bad guy and have it miss by a couple of feet when it counted. Only Bob Hope.
They test fired the pistol, of course. Likely at a target with a bulls-eye.
And its resulting level of accuracy also made for higher selling prices. They would be prized possessions.
Well, second question: how did the samurai know his samurai sword, or “katana” (刀) was sharp?
Jabbing a bulls-eye would be unthinkable. Where’s the fun?
They would test the katana out on an executed criminal.
Cut off a limb. Perhaps an arm or a leg.
Well, that’s mostly true.
If a samurai was of high enough ranking (perhaps one of my samurai ancestors), he can pay……for a live one.
While the “lore” varies, there is one documented story – but who knows? The story is a criminal was being taken to his execution when he spied a high ranking samurai with a vassal carrying his brand-spanking new katana.
The criminal asked, “Are you going to try out your new katana on me?” to which the samurai replied in the affirmative. The samurai said he would try a slashing diagonal cut on him from the shoulder down.
The soon-to-be executed criminal then replied something to the effect of, “Well, I wish I would have known beforehand as I would have swallowed some stones to dull your blade.”
A grisly first “OMG Samurai Truth”, perhaps, but truth nonetheless. Not lore.
But one thing is for certain: the consequence of execution did not defray criminals from doing their dastardly deeds even in the 1600’s. And they did indeed carry out the sentences. No ACLU.
Stay tuned for more OMG Samurai Truths. More to come.