Tom Parks Pt.2   180-01M
July 2000

I have to feel sorry for the young people of today. They have a very poor selection of heroes. Their heroes are whining overpaid sports stars, pop singers, movie actors(?) and TV stars who want you to believe that they are just as macho as the roles they portray.

When I was growing up (actually I never grew up) in the 20s and 30s there were real heroes a plenty for us, Sgt. Alvin York, Eddie Rickenbacker, General Pershing, Billy Bishop.

In the little town where I went to school there was Edouard V. Izac, who was awarded the Medal of Honor in WW1. When his ship was sunk he was picked by up the sub that sank it. He was allowed the freedom of the sub and he paid particular attention to the course the sub took to go through the North Sea minefields. He escaped from a prisoner of war camp and made his way back to England with that important intelligence.

Ruben Levy, who owned the hardware store, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross as an Army lieutenant at Chateau Thierry.

Our coach in high school, Jack Mashin, flew with Eddie Rickenbacker in the famous Hat In The Ring squadron in France.

The Reverend Frank Gigliotti was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart as an Army sergeant for single-handedly wiping out a German machine gun emplacement.

We respected those men for what they had done in war but also for what they accomplished in peacetime. They were all honorable contributing members of our community.

And of course there were our fathers who served during WW1. They were our special heroes and while most probably had unspectacular service histories you would never know it to hear the tales we told about our fathers heroic deeds.

There are thousands of veterans of WW2, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War and Cold War who are certainly worthy of some hero worship. The young people today need to adjust their sights.