This year’s 75th anniversary of the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor on December 7 showed sadness on the faces of the ever decreasing number of people who were called the ‘Greatest Generation’. Each year there are fewer and fewer veterans of this group of brave men who witnessed the struggles during the Depression, to commemorate the day when the attack that answered Winston Churchill’s prayers thrust the U.S. into World War II.
One of those heroes was Harold Estes, a retired Master Chief Boatswains Mate who died at age 97 in his ‘rest home’ in Hawaii. Before he died, he wrote a letter in 2009 to the new president, Barack Obama. In that paper he opened his heart and his mind and told Obama, who he called ‘young man’ the harsh truth that needed to be told and heard. His age and his 23 years of service gave Estes the right to share these wise words with the president, who was then just starting his ‘apology’ tour.
The most disturbing thing about the letter is that it seems as if Estes predicted the actions that Obama will take in the years that followed – disrespect for law enforcement and the military, obsession with race, and a lack of love for America.
“Dear President Obama,” the then-95-year-old veteran began his letter, “One of the benefits of my age, perhaps the only one, is to speak my mind, blunt and direct even to the head man,” and then he did just that, sparing the president none of the things he had to say.
“I am amazed, angry and determined not to see my country die before I do but you seem hell bent not to grant me that wish. I can’t figure out what country you are the president of…”
Estes turned Obama’s own words against him, quoting, “America hasn’t lived up to her ideals,” and teaching him a lesson in American history 101.
He reminded Obama of the “11,000 farmers and shopkeepers who died for to win independence from the British” and the half-million men who died for the “ideal that no man should be a slave to another.”
He spoke from his heart, from his personal experience:
“I hope you didn’t mean the ideal 470,000 fathers, brothers, husbands, and a lot of fellas I knew personally died for in WWII.”
Estes sure showed him that he won’t choose his words in order to tell the truth.
“I don’t think you mean the ideal that says equality is better than discrimination. You know the one that a whole lot of white people understood when they helped to get you elected.”
Calling himself, “a very old geezer,” Estes gave Obama, who was twice younger than him, some hard advice.
“Shape up and start acting like an American.”
In 2009, Estes already proved himself as the man who won’t put up with injustice and will speak when everyone else is quiet, by calling Cambridge, Massachusetts police stupid and yet “lecturing” Americans about not doing the same about the Ft. Hood shooter.
At the end, Estes opened Obama’s eyes saying that he has “never served in the military and never had to defend your country with your life, you’re the Commander-in-Chief now, son. Do your job.”
Rest in peace, Master Chief Estes, and thank you for your bravery and for your service. We should honor our veterans, as they served our country and know what’s best for it.
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Source: US Herald