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Posted: 2/27/2001 12:23:16 PM EDT
"On 18 February 2001, while racing for fame and fortune, Dale Earnhardt died in the last lap of the Daytona 500.  It was surely a tragedy for his family, friends and fans.  He was 49 years old with grown children, one, which was in the race.  I am new to the NASCAR culture so much of what I know has come from the newspaper and TV.  He was a winner and earned everything he had. This included more than '$41 million in winnings and ten times that from endorsements and souvenir sales.' He had a beautiful home and a private jet.  He drove the most sophisticated cars allowed and every part was inspected and replaced as soon as there was any evidence of wear. This is normally fully funded by the car and team sponsors.  Today, there is no TV station that does not constantly remind us of his tragic end and the radio already has a song of tribute to this winning driver.  Nothing should be taken away from this man, he was a professional and the best in his profession.  He was in a very dangerous business but the rewards were great.

"Two weeks ago seven U.S. Army soldiers died in a training accident when two UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters collided during night maneuvers in Hawaii.  The soldiers were all in their twenties, pilots, crew chiefs and infantrymen.  Most of them lived in sub-standard housing.  If you add their actual duty hours (in the field, deployed) they probably earn something close to minimum wage.  The aircraft they were in were between 15 and 20 years old.  Many times parts were not available to keep them in good shape due to funding.  They were involved in the extremely dangerous business of flying in the Kuhuku mountains at night.  It only gets worse when the weather moves in as it did that night.  Most times no one is there with a yellow or red flag to slow things down when it gets critical.  Their children where mostly toddlers who will lose all memory of who 'Daddy' was as they grow up.  They died training to defend our freedom.

"I take nothing away from Dale Earnhardt but ask you to perform this simple test.  Ask any of your friends if they know who was the NASCAR driver killed on 18 February 2001.  Then ask them if they can name one of the seven soldiers who died in Hawaii two weeks ago.

"18 February 2001, Dale Earnhardt died driving for fame and glory at the Daytona 500.  The nation mourns.  Seven soldiers died training to protect our freedom.  No one can remember their names and most don't even remember the incident."

(We received this message from a commander in the Pacific Fleet.)

The Federalist (r) All rights reserved.  
The Federalist is a Town Hall Citizen Organization
2001 (c)Publius Press, Inc. ><>

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Link Posted: 2/27/2001 12:52:29 PM EDT
Unfortunately, this is sad, but completely true.  They are the real heroes.
Link Posted: 2/27/2001 1:55:35 PM EDT
Oh Bull*hit.  I'll say it because no one else will.  I didn't know the seven men in the blackhawk, but don't spew that just because the were members of the US military, they were there because they wanted to defend the US.  Maybe they were, Maybe they were there so they could attend college on the cheap from uncle sam. Or just to learn to fly at no cost to themselves.  Maybe they had nowhere else to go, no marketable skills. I don't know.  I didn't know them. But please stop with the I owe them simply because they were there, I don't. I keep having flash-backs of the so called soliders prior to the gulf war, "I joined to get an education, not to kill people" man that pissed me off. Maybe I'm jaded but I don't see people joining "to defend the US" , This like most everything in life these days is all about "ME" Things have cahnged drasticlly in the last fifty years or so.
This isn't to say I take anything away from the men who died, they died doing there job and will be missed i'm sure by the people that loved them. But trying to relate the deaths of the seven reletivly unknown military personel to the death of someone well know for whatever reason would seem like trying to compare apples and oranges.

Link Posted: 2/27/2001 2:44:39 PM EDT
I think this thread was already posted.
Link Posted: 2/28/2001 3:16:05 AM EDT
I too was getting pissed-off when people were proclaiming Earnhart a hero.

Then I thought, there is more that one kind of hero. Your true, life-saving, do any-thing-for-anyone type and then a personal hero.

Many people see sports figures as personal hero's for individual traits that they personally admire. Nothing wrong with that. Maybe a different word than "hero" should be used, but that's not going to change.

I have sort of calmed down and got things into perspective since.

Just my humble view.
Link Posted: 2/28/2001 4:29:57 AM EDT
I can draw a couple of quick parallels here.  Remember the blowup of the Challenger?  All of the sobbing, moaning, rending of clothing, nashing of teeth.  Calls for an end to manned space flights.  Around the same time, over 200 servicemen died in a plane crash overseas.  Not 1/10th the coverage.  One of the servicemen had wrote his mother, two weeks before the crash. (best as I can remember) "It's not the duty here in Lebanon that worries me.  It's the plane we have to fly in.  You can see rivets poppping out of the wings, now and then!"
Then there was Princess Dead.  Oh God, I thought I would never hear the end of that one.  To me, she just symbolized what we should be, [i]were,[/i] against.  A privileged aristocracy.
Nothing more, nothing less.
One last note, Dale was a big boy, Dale knew the risks.  
Link Posted: 2/28/2001 4:36:32 AM EDT
The only Tragedy that I can see with all of these stories about Dale Earnhardt is that there is too much Bandwidth taken up trying to raise him to Sainthood.

Link Posted: 2/28/2001 4:53:21 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/28/2001 5:03:08 AM EDT
What bothers me Ed, is that people who are so easily led to such displays, are so easily led.
Link Posted: 2/28/2001 5:15:05 AM EDT
Warlock, you obviously never served.  Most in the military do have that feeling of pride in defending their country.  You are right, it is comparing apples to oranges.  The death of any anybody is sad, but is even sadder when people grieve the celebrity as a hero and ignore those that are keeping them free.  Perhaps those in the military are the exception to the 'ME' syndrome that you mentioned.
Link Posted: 2/28/2001 5:17:41 AM EDT
I would suspect that allot of these people who are moaning the loss of Dale Earnhardt are just doing it so that they can say that they were part of the mourning process...I can hear it all now...

"Yes, I think that his loss was trully horrible. I am really going to miss him! Wasn't he an astronaut or something?"

For the most part, it is the Herd Syndrone...Just like when Lady (term used loosely) Di checked out...Everybody jumped on the Mourning Bandwagon just so all of their friends would know, and could see just how sensitive and caring they were.

Psycho-History at its best.


Link Posted: 2/28/2001 5:37:55 AM EDT
As long as we're re-posting:

A soldier’s response:

I am an American, fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life. I am prepared to give my life in their defense.

If I am called to give my life in defense of this great nation, do not remember my name. I have freely accepted the risks of my service, and I seek neither glory nor recognition.

My service is not a responsibility, nor a right; it is a privilege. I am thankful for the privilege to ensure a free country for my children to live in. I do not require, nor do I ask, for your recognition. I am simply trying to repay the debt of those who have gone before me.

If you must remember me, remember me on Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day and Veterans Day. Display the American Flag proudly, and say a prayer for those of us who have served and continue to serve.

Do not honor us by name. Honor us as the multitude who have suffered to ensure the freedom and prosperity of the great nation of The United States of America.

Do not compare me to Dale Earnhardt. Dale was a man who lived his life in search of glory, and he found it. Dale was a man who came from humble beginnings and achieved greatness in his endeavors. And in achieving greatness, he acquired the means and prosperity to help others, and to inspire others. He realized the American dream, and he never forgot those who were less fortunate than he. That is a hero.

I only wish that I could have lived as great a life as Dale Earnhardt. I mourn his passing, and I would not dare to say that my life was of greater value than his, simply because we chose different paths.
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Link Posted: 2/28/2001 5:43:39 AM EDT
Among the changes to all of that that I would make would be to scratch "hero", enter "personification of [i]blank.[/i]  Fill in the blank with whatever fills your blank.
Link Posted: 2/28/2001 5:44:48 AM EDT
"As long as we're re-posting:

a soldier’s response:"

Good Post!

Link Posted: 2/28/2001 5:49:49 AM EDT
The other change that I would make is- "I would not dare say that [b]his[/b] life was of greater value than [b]mine[/b], simply because we chose different paths."
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