By; Joseph T. Manzo
November 1, 2007
Army Colonel Paul Tibbets
On my desk where I am typing this story, sits a replica of the Army Air Corps B-29 bomber. It’s a replica of the Enola Gay and on the base that holds it in the flying position, is the signature of Paul Tibbets. This is a treasure that I hope to pass on to future generations of my family.
Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr. was a 30-year-old colonel when he and his 13 men crew dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima Japan. Like all of the eleven and a half million men who served in the U.S. Army during WW II, in addition to the other branches of the military, we owe them our respect. They were just men who rose to the occasion to do great things and stop ruthless enemies from taking over the world.
Army Colonel Tibbets died on November 1, 2007 on All Saints Day at the age of 92. It is a National shame that he didn't want a service or headstone because he didn’t want demonstrators to have a place to protest.
Years ago when Harry Truman died, I was at a collage dorm visiting a friend and the Japanese students did not have anything good to say about him. You wouldn’t print what I remember them saying. However, I thought he was a great man and said so. There are many who will find fault with Colonel Tibbets, but I think he too was a great man.
During war the peace wimps will always look for a place in history, but the ones who make history are those who step up to the challenge and fight against evil. The peace wimps wanted to believe that Colonel Tibbets had emotional problems and invented scenario of him landing in prison or of him regretting the bombing and committing suicide—none were true .
Millions of brave acts of self sacrifice go unnoticed in war; dare we not honor those who were the icons? There should be a monument at Arlington National Cemetery with an eternal flame to honor the sacrifice and courage of this great American.
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