We lost George McGovern last night. The guy was a true hero in war and for peace. Like so many of his comrades, he did not speak much about what he did to earn his medals of valor in WW2. He did not, however. discount the record that he once brought home in one piece the crew of the B-24 Liberator bomber that he piloted with one engine shot off and another aflame, 110 bullet holes drilled through the craft. But, he did not make much of that.
He did describe his time in war a hell, and by his subsequent devotion to peace and giving food and care to those that suffered in war, in poverty, in hunger, I surmise that he was conscious of not only the hell he endured, but those caught up in all the world's wars.
He went on to endure a second hell, going toe to toe with the most ruthless President our nation has yet known. He dared a man with atom bombs and the world's biggest secret police to an honest fight. His opponent was so cowered by McGovern's courage that he resorted to dirty tricks and thievery to win the battle and thus ultimately lost everything. In the course of this domestic battle, of course, Nixon plunged an entire region of Asia into war and killed more than 4 million innocents. Nixon delivered the very hell that McGovern had warned of and knew too well.
But, George never expressed bitterness about that defeat. As in WW2, possibly the only war that we might generously call a good war in our recent history as a nation, McGovern was clad in the armor of humility and a good sense of humor as he returned from the battlefield. This guy George was, indeed, a hero and he dared against all odds. We lost a good one last night. I'm very grateful to have been around in his time.
Res Ipsa Loquitor,
Senator and Hero George McGovern