A couple of days ago, we were talking about President Obama linking Ho Chi Minh and George Washington. Many of us objected. One reason we objected is because of men like Colonel Bud Day. He died over the weekend and left behind a legacy of patriotism and bravery:
"Colonel Day's life was defined by the defiance he showed in North Vietnamese prison camps, where besides Mr. McCain, the future senator and Republican presidential candidate, whose Navy fighter jet had been downed, his cellmates included James B. Stockdale, also a Navy pilot, who became Ross Perot's running mate in his 1992 presidential campaign.
When he volunteered for duty in Vietnam and was assigned to a fighter wing in April 1967, Colonel Day, then a major, had flown more than 4,500 hours in fighters.
On Aug. 26, 1967, he was on a mission to knock out a surface-to-air missile site 20 miles inside North Vietnam when his F-100 was hit by antiaircraft fire. He suffered eye and back injuries and a broken arm when he ejected, and he was quickly captured.
Major Day was strung upside-down by his captors, but after his bonds were loosened, he escaped after five days in enemy hands. He made it across a river, using a bamboo-log float for support, and crossed into South Vietnam. He wandered barefoot and delirious for about two weeks in search of rescuers, surviving on a few berries and frogs. At one point, he neared a Marine outpost, but members of a Communist patrol spotted him first, shot him in the leg and hand, and captured him.
This time, Major Day could not escape. He was shuttled among various camps, including the prison that became known as the Hanoi Hilton, and was beaten, starved and threatened with execution. His captors demanded information on escape plans and methods of communication among the prisoners of war, as well as on America's air war.
In February 1971, he joined with Admiral Stockdale, then a commander and the ranking American in the prison camp, and other prisoners in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" while rifle muzzles were pointed at them by guards who had burst into a prisoners' forbidden religious service.
He was released on March 14, 1973, having supplied only false information to his interrogators. He was promoted to colonel during his captivity, and on March 4, 1976, President Gerald R. Ford presented him with the Medal of Honor at a ceremony in which Admiral Stockdale was also awarded the medal."
We don't know if Colonel Day heard President Obama's remarks about Ho and George Washington.
I heard President Obama's remarks and found them very offensive.
Yes, I found them appalling because of men like Colonel Day. Yes men like Colonel Day and Senator McCain were tortured by Ho's government. They saw first hand that Ho was not George Washington.