Remembering Normandy, WW2
Lt. Col. Mark Hasara Visits Normandy
We’re approaching that period in World War II where we’re dangerously near that time where many Americans will really have no knowledge of World War II, and the point is, there’s no real appreciation for the effort and what was accomplished that day. ~Rush Limbaugh
RUSH: You remember Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hasara. Lieutenant Colonel Hasara flew tankers in the United States Air Force, and unbeknownst to me on the day of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, he flew an American flag in his tanker. I think it was a KC-10, which is the Air Force version of the DC-10. It might have been a KC-135, now that I think of it, which is the Air Force version of the Boeing 707. He flew both of them. And six others — six of his buddies who flew attack aircraft and bomber aircraft — landed and they all took a run with that flag, and none of this I knew until it all arrived at home one day.
He got my FedEx address, and one day I got home, and there’s this package from Lieutenant Colonel Mark Hasara with this flag that was folded in a Ziploc bag with a letter written to me on a legal pad, handwritten and certificates of authenticity, pictures of every aircraft in which that flag had flown. And needless to say, I was shocked. I mean, I was blown away. I didn’t know things like that happened, number one. It didn’t surprise me when I stopped to think of it, but I was just honored beyond my ability to express it.
And I remember bringing all that stuff in the next day and talking about it here on the radio. I got to know Lieutenant Colonel Hasara and his family quite well over the years, and I have told him… He’s now retired. He’s no longer in the Air Force. I said, “If you ever have a chance, you have got to go to Normandy. You have got to see the cemetery. You’ve got to go to Pointe du Hoc. You’ve got to go to these famous battle sites of the war.” He’s a brilliant military tactician. He’s writing a book, by the way, called Passing Gas. It’s a picture book.
He has some of the most incredible pictures of refueling operations. There’s a saying they all have: “Nobody kicks ass without tanker gas.” Meaning if these guys can’t refuel, they can’t run their missions. So without the tankers you’ve got no missions. And he’s on that trip. He and his family, they lost a son to cancer at 19 years old, Jeff. But they’re on the trip, and he emailed me a picture this morning of him and one of his sons standing at Pointe du Hoc, which, of course, is… Pointe du Hoc…
What happened at Pointe du Hoc with the Rangers, the second battalion Rangers rappelling straight up the cliffs, down from Omaha Beach while the Germans were firing straight down on ’em — and the Rangers just kept coming. And Reagan gave one of the greatest speeches he’s ever given at the D-Day anniversary at the spot where the memorial is at Pointe du Hoc. So I sent the photo up to Koko, and I told Koko, “I’m probably gonna mention this so I want you to have the photo to post it at RushLimbaugh.com.” Mark has been to the cemetery at Normandy.
He had an interesting comment to me. When you go to Pointe du Hoc and you look over those cliffs and you see what the Rangers did, I mean, it’s amazing to see it from the beach looking up at it. But when you’re in the position the German gunners were in and imagining these Rangers just coming and they’re climbing ropes to get up these cliffs. It’s almost straight up. He said, “Thank God we don’t fight wars this way anymore.” Meaning, that kind of warfare has been modernized, and you wouldn’t need to land a battalion of Rangers to take positions at Pointe du Hoc.
You could just drone them to death or whatever. Air power, missiles, whatever technology is available today. And it got me to thinking that not very many people alive today probably know what World War I was about, and they certainly don’t know the US role in it. It’s just that far ago, long ago. And we’re approaching that period in World War II where we’re dangerously near that time where many Americans will really have no knowledge of World War II, and the point is, there’s no real appreciation for the effort and what was accomplished that day.
You know, the word “Hitler” is thrown around. We have Hitler video jokes that you can see — Hitler discovers this, Hitler learns this — and we sometimes call our politicians Hitler. It was vile. The things that happened that we beat back, the things that we saved the world from were just unspeakable, and the effort is on the way to being forgotten, sadly, and it’s just the way things are. Human nature, passage of time. And this photo that he sent me and his comment about not fighting wars that way anymore sort of hit home with me to the point that I wanted to share the observation.