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  • Delivering hope

    The most dramatic rescue operation of the twentieth century was the Berlin Airlift--a mission that saved over 2.5 million people from starvation and served as the single most significant event in stemming the rapid Soviet expansion across the post World War II continent of Europe. In 1948, Berlin was a divided city. American, British, and Soviet
  • The courage to lead

    There is a tale from the Far East that tells of a mouse who was so terrified of cats he would rarely risk stepping out into the world. Then one day, a local magician agreed to transform the terrified mouse into a cat. This curtailed his fear and the mouse-turned-cat was happy. That is, until he met a dog. Terrified of dogs, the mouse-turned-cat
  • Hitmen in our midst

    A thousand years ago, in the early part of the 11th century, a rebellious Shiite Muslim sect called the Nizari seized control of a mountaintop castle in Teheran, the capital of modern day Iran. This was the first in what would turn into a series of attacks conducted against political leaders of the Islamic world by this group. Using their weapon of
  • A lesson in humility

    When I was younger, around my high school years, I didn't care about history. In fact I didn't really care about anything in high school. I wasn't what you would call a model student. My general attitude toward history was, "Who cares; it's in the past. When am I ever going to need to know this stuff?" It wasn't until I was older, in college and
  • The Parable of the pencil

    There once lived a pencil maker who took her work very seriously. You see, she did not see the pencils she made as merely simple instruments people use to write or draw. Instead, she understood that each pencil represented an opportunity to create something unique; something powerful; something of lasting value. Before putting each pencil into its
  • A butterfly in Baghdad

    Ugliness was everywhere In this city of war and despair Death was all around me Hanging so heavy in the air The buildings lay in rubble There were remnants of exploded cars Each day I felt new death occur Carving more emotional scars To feel the tremble of a bombing And know life just ended for many To hear the volley of the gunfire Crushed my hope
  • A transformative power of hope

    Deep in the jungle, on the banks of the slow moving Kwai Noi River, 1,740 bronze headstones solemnly remember the lives of great men. The heroes buried in this remote stretch of jungle were members of several allied nations' armed services who perished while serving as Prisoners of War in Japanese labor camps during World War II. These were men who
  • One Airman and the little things that matter

    Shortly after the end of World War II, a young Marine corporal stationed in Hawaii jumped the camp fence and "liberated" an officer's jeep for a trip into town. He was later caught and found guilty in a court-martial. The act cost him his Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal. Approximately 20 years later, that same corporal, now an Air Force Lieutenant
  • Building our own towers to the moon

    In his book, Virtues of Leadership, William Bennett shares a folktale from the Dominican Republic that can teach us a great deal of the danger wrought by pride and self-promotion. Long ago there lived an island king who one sleepless night, got it into his head that he would like to touch the moon. "Why not?" he asked himself. "After all, I am the
  • In giving meaning to others, we give meaning to ourselves

    History abounds with the names of famous second-mile leaders -- Pitsenbarger, Sijan, Levitow, Cunningham, Mother Theresa--men and women who performed feats larger than life that leave us with examples of heroism, selflessness and service to their fellow man. Too often we put these heroes on pedestals, above us mere mortals and beyond our reach in
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