Now this is something I never expected when I heard that former UK Prime Minister Baroness Margaret Thatcher had passed at the age of 87.
He may have been on the opposite side of the aisle, but he also served honorably in our Armed Forces, and for that, I salute him and mourn his passing.
A legend passes:
CBS News legend Mike Wallace, the “60 Minutes” pit-bull reporter whose probing, brazen style made his name synonymous with the tough interview – a style he practically invented for television more than half a century ago – died last night. He was 93 and passed peacefully surrounded by family members at Waveny Care Center in New Canaan, Conn., where he spent the past few years. He also had a home in Manhattan.
Betty Ford, wife of former President Gerald Ford and the founder of the Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction, has died at age 93.
In public, she was one of the most visible and outspoken first ladies in history. In private, she triumphed over serious personal adversity.
She was married to Gerald Ford for 58 years. Shortly after becoming president in 1974, Ford said, “I am indebted to no man and to only one woman, my dear wife.”
A month after moving into the White House, Betty Ford was diagnosed with breast cancer and had a mastectomy. She became an advocate for breast cancer research and early detection.
Asked about her illness, she said, “I’m very glad that I brought cancer to the forefront.”
She was also outspoken on women’s rights issues. She supported the equal rights amendment and the legalization of abortion.
She became famous for her candor. In an interview on CBS’ “60 Minutes,” she talked about marijuana, equal rights for women, abortion and the possibility of a premarital affair for her daughter, Susan.
After leaving the White House, Betty Ford publicly acknowledged her addiction to alcohol and painkillers.
“This is not a lack of willpower, this is a disease,” she said at the time.
In 1982, she co-founded the Betty Ford Center in California. Her candor in talking about and dealing with substance abuse and treatment helped led to an improvement in how Americans talk about such matters.
Helping others overcome addiction became her chief cause.
“I’m not out to rescue anybody who doesn’t want to be rescued,” she once said. “I just think it’s important to say how easy it is to slip into a dependency on pills or alcohol. And how hard it is to admit that dependency.”
Prayers are going up for her friends and family in their time of grief… Betty, I’m pretty sure, has moved on to a better place.
I know we’ve all been busy eulogizing people named Kennedy and Jackson, but personally I think a little-known man named Freeman is more worthy of our praise:
Marine Capt. Matthew Freeman made his last trip across the U.S. Naval Academy in the company of friends the other day.
Yes, there were admirals and generals, colonels and majors, captains of the Navy and the Marines among the hundreds who joined him. But there are moments when the strictures of rank are loosened by the greater bond of brotherhood. This was one of them.
Four thousand and seventy-four days had passed since Matt arrived here as a kid, had his head shaved and was sworn in as a Navy midshipman. Two thousand six hundred and fifty-one days had gone by since he hurled his hat into the air at graduation and became a Marine. It had been 47 days since he married Theresa, his high school sweetheart, and 34 days since he headed to Afghanistan.
And it was just 19 days after he led his men onto a rooftop that provided the only high ground in a nasty firefight with the Taliban in a hamlet in a rugged, desolate northeastern province.
The morning he came back to the Naval Academy was a Wednesday, but it will stick in your memory as the day you heard that Ted Kennedy had died and the week when you learned that someone might have killed Michael Jackson. The politician and the entertainer of their generations, they were lionized by many and scorned by some. One pleaded guilty, the other was found innocent. But they each died with an indelible asterisk, a footnote to their legacies that time will not erase.
Matt Freeman died clean.
There were a dozen Marine captains in dress blue in the overflowing pews of the chapel. Marines may blink hard a few times, but they don’t cry. Their mothers and widows cry for them.
In the week when they laid a young Marine captain to rest, the news was dominated by the death of a politician and the echo from an entertainer’s death. The flag-draped coffin on the front page was not his, but if you look carefully in the paper this week you will see a small picture of Matt Freeman among the faces of those who have fallen recently in battle.
He did not live long enough to become an the icon of Kennedy or Jackson, but he died the greater hero.
Sounds to me like this Captain embodied the Marine motto of “Semper Fidelis.”
Actor Karl Malden Dead At 97
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No, not the famous/infamous singer with one glove. I mean a real hero.
CLACKAMAS (AP) — Retired Marine Corps Col. Kenneth L. Reusser, called the most decorated Marine aviator in history and was shot down in three wars, has died at age 89.
Reusser flew 253 combat missions in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and was shot down in all three, five times in all.
His 59 medals included two Navy Crosses, four Purple Hearts and two Legions of Merit.
Reusser died June 20 of natural causes. He is survived by his wife, Trudy; and sons, Richard C. and Kenneth L. Jr. Interment was Friday in Willamette National Cemetery.
Michael Jackson Dies