This is a rather big narration of two different stories. But these two stories have something in common so profound that it may shake you totally. Beware!
Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and murder. Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie."
He was his lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.
To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but also, Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family lived in a posh mansion with with all conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block!
Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him. Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie provided his young son with whatever he could - clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object for his beloved one.
But the best part was, that despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong! Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.
Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son: he couldn't pass on a good name, and a good example. Finally one day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done.
He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity. He knew that the cost would be great.
But he testified.
And not surprisingly, within the year Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street.
But in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay. Police removed from his pockets a rosary, a crucifix, a religious medallion, and a poem clipped from a magazine. The poem read:
The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power to tell
just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own.
Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time.
For the clock may soon be still.
PART TWO; MANY MANY YEARS LATER
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent on a mission. When we was up in air, he was shocked to discover that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank!
He would not have enough fuel to complete his mission and get back to his ship. His flight leader told him to return to the carrier. Reluctantly, he headed back to the fleet.
As he was returning to the mother ship he saw something that turned his blood cold: a squadron of Japanese aircraft were speeding their way toward the American fleet. And his own fleet was now totally defenseless.
Moreover, he couldn't reach his squadron and bring them back in time to save the fleet. Nor could he warn the fleet of the approaching danger.
There was only one thing to do.
He must somehow divert them from the fleet. Laying aside all thoughts of personal safety, he dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 caliber's blazed as he charged in, attacking one surprised enemy plane and then another. Butch wove in and out of the now broken formation and fired at as many plane as possible until all his ammunition was finally spent. Undaunted, he continued the assault. He dove at the planes, trying to clip a wing or tail in hopes of damaging as many enemy planes as possible and rendering them unfit to fly.
Finally, the exasperated Japanese squadron took off in another direction. Deeply relieved, Butch O'Hare and his tattered fighter limped back to the carrier. Upon arrival, he reported in and related the event surrounding his return. The film from the gun-camera mounted on his plane told the tale. It showed the extent of Butch's daring attempt to protect his fleet. He had, in fact, destroyed five enemy aircraft.
This took place on February 20, 1942, and for that action Butch became the Navy's first Ace of W.W.II , and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.
A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29. Today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
NOW, WHAT DO YOU THINK THESE TWO STORIES HAVE TO DO WITH EACH OTHER?
Well, Butch O'Hare was "Easy Eddie's" son.