My New Hero...
A Blackwater Friday

Any Nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure...

Picture_3_028 Abraham Lincoln said that.  And-

"A Nation reveals itself not only by the the men it produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers..."   President John F. Kennedy

Folks, this could be quite a post.  I've been remiss in not getting a LOT of stuff covered lately, but out of everything I have to cover, this one post is the most important one I have to do...  and at the end of this post, an admonition to the story from the local paper that should have had the author run out on a rail.  For shame.  Please be careful before that last section- you won't belive how far we've degenerated when you have to do this to these men.

There are very, very few things in life that are certain.  Death, taxes, sunrise, sunset, that pretty well covers all the big ones.  But one certain thing that you can go see soon in your state- true, absolute, honest American heroes.  Bigger than life.  And none that we'll likely ever experience again.

The Medal of Honor, a book photographed by Nick De Calzo and written by Peter Collier, is on a national tour beginning here in Denver.  Since the Congressional Medal of Honor Society is having its annual convention here in Denver next month, they are kicking off the tour here in conjunction with it.  They expect over 60 recipients to attend this year; if the information I have is correct, this is the 50th anniversary of the organization and they are kicking off a major effort to bring attention to the last of the living recipients.

There are, as of this writing, 102 living recipients, ranging in age from 57 to 99.  They estimate that within 10 years, only FIFTY of these individuals will still remain. That means, of the 3500 people in America who have ever received the medal, this will leave us with the lowest number of living recipients, ever.
As a result, the Society in conjunction with the book is taking a display to 10 major cities (and hopefully all 50 states, eventually) to showcase the honorable men who, living today, embody the best that America can produce.  I don't think I have to mention to anyone here that these were ordinary men, in extraordinary circumstance, who performed beyond any doubt a deed or deeds that set them well above. 

We live in the best country in the world.  It is our duty to love, guide, and protect it...    -Raymond G. Murphy, MoH recipient

The values of the society, which mirror many of those held closely by Blackfive, are being brought to the city highligted by the collection.  The society wants to show that these values are sacred, and that all of of us should aspire to them. I could NOT agree more.  The stated goal:

Educate and raise awareness in the American public about the Medal of Honor and what it represents by promoting the values of courage, sacrifice and selfless service, and patriotism through outreach, education, and example.

I had a chance to chat with the photographer, Nick De Calzo, and learn quite a bit about the collection.  I've included th links here; please go and look at the fantastic work he's put into this showcase.  As I understand, 155 recipients were living when he began this 8 years ago. 


I hope to bring to Blackfive the events of the convention; I will be meeting with the executive team soon to set those details.  I'm hoping to get a chance to meet each and every recipient attending and bring a small story exclusive to Blackfive.  It will be among the most humbling things I can ever imagine doing.

Take the family; bring the children. The display is fantastic- solemn, honorable, just as the men themselves.  Let us understand why these men, and what they stand for, is so important.  And say a prayer of thanks for each and every one...

Also, see the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation.


After the jump, read what the local rag had to write about it...

Now, as to the local story about it:

The Denver Post ran an article related to the display on the Sunday after it opened.  Having interviewed Nick Del Calzo, the reporter, Steve Graff, said this:

His message, one of patriotism and sacrifice for freedom in serving his country, comes a week before war protesters come to Denver for the Democratic National Convention.

Re-create 68, a group looking to conjure up the same protests coalesced against the Vietnam War, will spend that week speaking out against the war in Iraq.

WTF is he doing putting this type of commentary in with the recipients of the highest award in the nation???  What does RC'68 have to do with this display whatsoever?

In reading this article, the author's complete, total, utter lack of what the Medal is and what it stands for is quite evident.  He met with Mr James Taylor, a recipient from action in Vietnam, and Del Calzo, and all he could take away was this?


Mr. Graff can be reached here:  [email protected]  303-954-1661

Three commenters posted to the article. One read:

What a shame! I visited this exhibit yesterday and the reporter missed the point completely. Instead of sensationalizing things and trying to create a story by pitting sides against each other, why can't the media ~ and the Denver Post ~ see this for what it is; a tribute to honor, courage, valor, and freedom. Respecting the actions of these brave men, and learning more about the price that was paid for our freedom, is important and only they can share that because they lived it.

Spot on.  I think Mr Graff needs educated.  And kept away from Recipients, lest he write they get tried for war crimes.  Mr. Lincoln, this is your proof...

Who gives a huge shout-out to 'Kentucky Woman'.