Sunday, 1 February 2009

O'Hare International airport and Al Capone

Bedlam Post.

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Thanks to Jack Chambers for this contribution


Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago . Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. Capone was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in
everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.

Capone had a lawyer nicknamed 'Easy Eddie.' He
was Capone's lawyer for a good reason. Eddie was very
good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal maneuvering 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 Eddie got special dividends, as well. For instance, he and
his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the
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.

did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly. Eddie saw to
it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was
withheld. Price was no object.
And, 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
or a good example.

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 'Scarface' Al
, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some
semblance of integrity. To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob,
and he knew that the cost would be great.

So, he testified.

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.'


World War II produced many
heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch
He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft
carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.

One day his entire squadron was
sent on a mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and
realized 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 dropped out of
formation and 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 was speeding its way toward the American fleet.

The American
fighters were gone on a sortie, and the fleet was all but defenseless. 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 d! ove 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 planes 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,
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

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. His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to
fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in
tribute to the courage of this great man.

So, the next time you find
yourself at O'Hare International, give some thought to
visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and
his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.

Butch O'Hare was 'Easy Eddie's' son.


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Al Capone Al Capone O'Hare International O'Hare International

End of post - O'Hare International airport and Al Capone

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