Leaving Legacies

There is a Middle Eastern proverb that says “when you where born everybody laughed, Live your life in such a way that when you die everybody will cry.”

There is the story of a man a named Edward O’ Hare (Snr.). He had a wife and three children, a boy and two girls. The thing is that Edward worked for the Al Capone a big time Chicago Mafia boss who made as much as $100 Million as far back as 1924 . They were rich, had it all, but things were not going so well. Eventually Edward and his wife divorced, the kids moved out with her and eventually Edward was all alone.

There came a day that Edward had a change of heart and went into the police station and told them all he knew about Al Capone. This eventually led to the arrest and conviction of Al Capone. Obviously Edwards sin against the mafia would not go unpunished. He was eventually shot to death.

Fast forward to WWII. Edward ‘Butch’ O’ Hare (Jnr.) had buried his father at an early age. He was motivated by his fathers repentance and ultimate sacrifice to make something out of his life. He was a navy pilot in the war. On February 20, 1942, He became the Navy’s first flying ace when he single-handedly attacked a formation of 9 heavy bombers approaching his aircraft carrier.

Even though he had a limited amount of ammunition, he managed to shoot down or damage several enemy bombers. On April 21, 1942, he became the first naval recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War II. Nobody would have blamed him had he not done anything. But His father had set a high mark of Honour before he died.

O’Hare’s final action took place on the night of November 26, 1943, while he was leading the U.S. Navy’s first-ever nighttime fighter attack launched from an aircraft carrier. During this encounter with a group of Japanese torpedo bombers, O’Hare’s F6F Hellcat was shot down; his aircraft was never found. In 1945, the U.S. Navy destroyer USS O’Hare (DD-889) was named in his honor. (The Ship Above)

A few years later, Colonel Robert R. McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, suggested that the name of Chicago’s Orchard Depot Airport be changed as a tribute to Butch O’Hare.

Today The O’Hare Airport in Chicago serves as a constant reminder of a legacy of a father and determination of a son. What legacy do you want to leave?

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