War hero, politician James Stockdale dead at 81

Forget the AP story. Who cares about his performance in a Presidential Debate? Here is the real reason we remember this hero:

"During the Vietnam War, he was a Navy fighter pilot based on the USS Oriskany and flew 201 missions before he was shot down on Sept. 9, 1965. He became the highest-ranking naval officer captured during the war, the Navy said.

He endured more than 7 1/2 years as a prisoner, spending four of them in solitary confinement, before his release in 1973. He was tortured repeatedly, according to the Navy.

Stockdale received 26 combat decorations, including the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest medal for valor, in 1976. A portion of his award citation reads: “Stockdale ... deliberately inflicted a near mortal wound to his person in order to convince his captors of his willingness to give up his life rather than capitulate. He was subsequently discovered and revived by the North Vietnamese who, convinced of his indomitable spirit, abated their employment of excessive harassment and torture of all prisoners of war.”

This poem is appropriate:

As long as you remember,
And, you keep him in your heart,
As long as you remember,
Then, you'll never be apart

A hero only dies when he's forgotten.
A hero only dies when we forget.

So, I promise to remember,
And, to keep him in my heart.
As long as I remember,
Then, We'll never be apart.

Jill Pall
Copyright 2004

So long Sir! Thank you for your sacrifices, your bravery and above all your gift to freedom!

Take a look at Jill's site here

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