The The Bravest Man In The World
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While most people will remember his horrendous crash at the German Grand Prix in 1976, it is his near-miraculous recovery and relentless push to be the best that mark him out as not only one of the most talented drivers ever but also undoubtedly the bravest. He had little time for nostalgia and self-pity so to honor his life we focus on his impressive list of achievements both on and off the track.
Since 1945, EBONY magazine has shined a spotlight on the worlds of Black people in America and worldwide. Our commitment to showcasing the best and brightest as well as highlighting disparities in Black life has been, and will always be, cornerstone to EBONY.
Field Marshal Douglas Haig, head of the British forces on the 'western front' during WWI, described Father Francis Browne as the bravest man I ever met." Not many people know that "Father Browne of The Titanic" went on to serve with great distinction during the First World War. In 1916 Father Francis Browne joined the British Army as a Jesuit chaplain. He served for most of the war with the Irish Guards at the front in the trenches and on the battlefields of Flanders.
In 1950, the men in his POW camp simply knew him as "padre." A fellow POW has referred to the padre as the bravest man he ever knew and even "God's man." It may be called the "forgotten war," but those who knew the padre have ensured his name is remembered by all.
"I was enlisted, so I knew of Father out on the front lines," said Robert McGreevy, Korean War veteran and former prisoner of war. "Bullets were flying everywhere, but he still went out and took care of the dying. He was the bravest man I ever knew."
Despite Kapaun being buried at the camp and classified as unaccounted-for for decades, his story left that camp by way of the survivors. They shared his story as often as they could and told the world how their lives were saved because of him.
In the meantime, the Kapaun family is honored to escort him home to Kansas and give him the honorable burial he so deserves. As a true testament to his impact on the world, several thousand seats were reserved for those who wanted to honor Kapaun at the Sept. 29 funeral in Wichita. It's a ceremony that the now 90-year-old McGreevy said he would walk all the way from Maryland to attend.
And so it is with The Bravest Man in the Universe, an album that sounds like 2012 as much as it sounds like Womack: the rhythms belong to the modern world, the slow, shimmering grooves undeniably Womack's, as he's been specializing in this sound since the turn of the '70s. Initially, the most bracing elements of The Bravest Man in the Universe are those electronic flourishes from Russell and Albarn and, most of all, the power of Womack's singing. He's showing signs of age -- his voice is etched and weathered -- but he sounds undiminished, both as a vocalist and as a man. This is not a quiet, mournful album about the dying of the light; this is about living in the moment, embracing age and modernity with equal enthusiasm.
None of this troubles Tepper, who knows "it's always something." His perfect blend of resistance and amusement is an inoculation against cynicism in this crazy world. He isn't going out, but you should go get him.
The First Lady. This is such a wonderful time of year. It's a time to honor the story of love and redemption that began 2,000 years ago, a time to see the world through a child's eyes and rediscover the magic all around us, and a time to give thanks for the gifts that bless us every single day.
This holiday season at the White House, we wanted to show our thanks with a very special holiday tribute to some of the strongest, bravest, and most resilient members of our American family, the men and women who wear our country's uniform and the families who support them.
So let's take a moment to give thanks for their service, for their families' service, for our veterans' service. And let's say a prayer for all our troops standing post all over the world, especially our brave men and women who are in Afghanistan and serving, even as we speak, in harm's way to protect the freedoms and security we hold so dear.
We live in an era of statue removal. Meanwhile the largest mountain carving in the world is under construction in the Black Hills of South Dakota just 17 miles from Mount Rushmore. The final carving will be 640 feet long and more than 50 stories high. The subject of that carving? Crazy Horse.
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President Bush Attends Medal of Honor Ceremony for Woodrow Wilson KeebleEast Room Video Presidential Remarks Audio Photos 2:35 P.M. ESTTHE PRESIDENT:Welcome. Thanks for coming. Mr. Vice President, Mr.Secretary, members of the Dakotan Congressional Delegations, Senator fromAlaska, other members of Congress, Members of my Cabinet, members of theadministration, members of the United States Armed Forces, distinguishedguests: Welcome to the White House.The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor a President can bestow,and I'm honored recipients of the Medal of Honor have joined us. Thank youfor coming. During my time in office, I've had the privilege of performingthis duty on nine separate occasions. Every ceremony has been inspiring. Many have been joyful.Some have been poignant. But I'm not sure I canremember many ceremonies quite like this one.It's taken nearly 60 years for Master Sergeant Woodrow Wilson Keeble to beawarded the medal he earned on the battlefield in Korea. His nominatingpaperwork was lost, and then it was resubmitted, and then it was lostagain.Then the deadline passed, and Woody and his family were told it wastoo late. Some blamed the bureaucracy for a shameful blunder.Otherssuspected racism: Woody was a full-blooded Sioux Indian. Whatever thereason, the first Sioux to ever receive the Medal of Honor died withoutknowing it was his. A terrible injustice was done to a good man, to hisfamily, and to history. And today we're going to try to set things right.Few people worked harder for this day than Woody's family. I thank themembers who are with us, including his son, Russell, who is accepting thisaward on their behalf, along with his cousin -- a cousin.AUDIENCE MEMBER: Nephew.THE PRESIDENT:Along with his nephew.I want to welcome you here. Thankyou for supporting Woody. Thank you for your understanding, your patienceand, most of all, your persistence.I also offer special thanks to the determined delegations of North andSouth Dakota, including the Governor of North Dakota and the formerGovernor of South Dakota. Woody had ties to both Dakotas. Each stateclaims him as its own.(Laughter.) I think I'm going to stay out of theargument. I want to thank you for carrying Woody's banner to the Pentagon,and to the halls of Congress. You did the right thing.It's easy to understand why so many people argued so passionately for theMedal once you hear the story of what Woody Keeble did. This storyunfolded at an important time in our history. The year was 1951. Theworld was divided by a Cold War. America was under threat and -- somebelieved -- overmatched and out of heart. The great evil of communism wassaid to be the future of the world. It was on the advance in Europe, andin China, and on the Asian peninsula of Korea.On that peninsula, a battle raged between communist forces in the North andthe forces of freedom in the South. And Woody Keeble, a decorated veteranof Guadalcanal, raised his hand to serve his country once again. Woodysaid he volunteered for Korea because, "somebody has to teach those kidshow to fight."And that's exactly what he did. In George Company, hequickly became a mentor, a teacher, and a legend. He was so strong that hecould lift the back of a jeep and spin it around.Some people knew he had been scouted by the Chicago White Sox.He had aheck of an arm, and he threw grenades like a baseball.One soldierremembered the time Woody walked through a mine field, leaving tracks forhis men to follow. Another recalled the time Woody was shot twice in thearm and he kept fighting, without seeming to notice.That fall, Woody's courage was on full display during a major offensivecalled Operation No Man [sic].His company was ordered to take a series ofhills protecting a major enemy supply line. High up in those hills andmanning machine guns were Chinese communist forces. After days offighting, the officers in Woody's company had fallen. Woody assumedcommand of one platoon, then a second, and then a third, until one of thehills was taken, and the enemy fled in wild retreat.That first advance nearly killed him. By the end of the day, Woody hadmore than 83 grenade fragments in his body. He had bleeding wounds in hisarms, chest, and thighs. And yet he still wanted to fight. So after a daywith the medics, he defied the doctor's orders and returned to thebattlefield. And that is where, on October 20, 1951, Master SergeantWoodrow Wilson Keeble made history.Communist forces still held a crucial hill that was the "pearl" of theirdefenses. They had pinned down U.S. forces with a furious assault. Onesoldier said the enemy lobbed so many grenades on American troops that theylooked like a flock of blackbirds in the sky. Allied forces had triedheavy artillery to dislodge the enemy, and nothing seemed to be working. The offensive was failing, and American boys were dying. But our forceshad one advantage: Woody was back, and Woody was some kind of mad.He grabbed grenades and his weapon and climbed that crucial hill alone. Woody climbed hundreds of yards through dirt and rock, with his woundsaching, bullets flying, and grenades falling all around him. As Woodyfirst started off, someone saw him and remarked: "Either he's the bravestsoldier I have ever met, or he's crazy." Soldiers watched in awe as Woodysingle-handedly took out one machine gun nest, and then another. WhenWoody was through, all 16 enemy soldiers were dead, the hill was taken, andthe Allies won the day.Woody Keeble's act of heroism saved many American lives, and earned him apermanent place in his fellow soldiers' hearts. Years later, some of thosetough soldiers' eyes would fill with tears when they saw Woody again. Onesaid: "He was the most respected person I ever knew in my life." Anothersaid: "I would have followed him anywhere." A third said: "He wasawesome." Those brave boys battled tyranny, held the line against acommunist menace, and kept a nation free. And some of them are with ustoday.We are honored to host you at the White House.We thank you foryour courage. We thank you for honoring your comrade in arms.And wethank you for your service to the United States.As the war ended, Woody went back to North Dakota. In some ways, hisreturn was a sad one. Within a few years, his first wife died. He wouldsuffer from numerous affects of the war. A series of strokes paralyzed hisright side and robbed him of his ability to speak. And the wounds hesustained in service to his country would haunt him for the rest of hislife.Yet Woody was not a bitter man. As a member of his family put it: "Woodyloved his country, loved his tribe, and loved God." Woody even found loveagain with a woman named Blossom. Woody may not have been able to speak,but he could still get a message across. He wrote a note asking Blossom tomarry him. She told him she needed some time to think about it. So whileshe was deliberating, Woody put their engagement announcement in thenewspaper. (Laughter.) This is a man who was relentless in love as wellas war. (Laughter.)In his community he was an everyday hero. Even in poor health, he wouldmow lawns for seniors in the summers and help cars out of the snow banks inthe winters. He once picked up a hitchhiker who was down on his luck andlooking for work. Woody wasn't a rich man, but he gave the man $50. Thosewho knew Woody can tell countless stories like this -- one of a greatsoldier who became a Good Samaritan.To his last days, he was a devoted veteran. He proudly wore his uniform atlocal events and parades. Sometimes folks who loved him would see thatuniform and ask him about his missing medal. They felt he was cheated, yetWoddy never complained. See, he believed America was the greatest nationon Earth, even when it made mistakes. And there was never a single day hewasn't proud to have served our country.Woody suffered his eighth -- and final -- stroke in 1982. His son,Russell, took him to the hospital and prayed it wasn't the end. But Woodyknew, and he wasn't afraid. Woodrow Wilson Keeble died in gracefulanonymity, unknown except to the fortunate souls who loved him, and thosewho learned from him. Russell put it this way: "Woody met death with asmile.He taught me how to live, and he taught me how to die."I am pleased that this good and honorable man is finally getting therecognition he deserves. But on behalf of our grateful nation, I deeplyregret that this tribute comes decades too late. Woody will never holdthis Medal in his hands or wear it on his uniform. He will never hear aPresident thank him for his heroism. He will never stand here to see thepride of his friends and loved ones, as I see in their eyes now.But there are some things we can still do for him. We can tell his story. We can honor his memory. And we can follow his lead -- by showing allthose who have followed him on the battlefield the same love and generosityof spirit that Woody showed his country everyday.At the request of the Keeble family and in accordance with the Siouxtradition, two empty chairs have been placed on this stage to representWoody and Blossom and to acknowledge their passing into the spiritualworld.The Sioux have a saying: "The life of a man is a circle." Well,today, we complete Woody Keeble's circle -- from an example to his men toan example for the ages. And if we honor his life and take lessons fromhis good and noble service, then Master Sergeant Woody Keeble will servehis country once again.I want to thank you all for coming. May I ask for God's blessings on youand Woody Keeble and the Keeble family. May God continue to bless ourcountry. And now I ask Mr. Hawkins and Mr. Bluedog to join me. CommanderThompson will read the citation.COMMANDER THOMPSON: The President of the United States of America, in thename of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor to MasterSergeant Woodrow W. Keeble, United States Army, for conspicuous gallantryand intrepidity, at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call ofduty:In action with an armed enemy near Sangsan-ni, Korea, on 20 October, 1951. On that day, Master Sergeant Keeble was an acting platoon leader for thesupport platoon in Company G, 19th Infantry, in the attack on Hill 765, asteep and rugged position that was well defended by the enemy.Leading thesupport platoon, Master Sergeant Keeble saw that the attacking elements hadbecome pinned down on the slope by heavy enemy fire from threewell-fortified and strategically placed enemy positions. With completedisregard for his personal safety, Master Sergeant Keeble dashed forwardand joined the pinned-down platoon. Then, hugging the ground, MasterSergeant Keeble crawled forward alone until he was in close proximity toone of the hostile machine-gun emplacements. Ignoring the heavy fire thatthe crew trained on him, Master Sergeant Keeble activated a grenade andthrew it with great accuracy, successfully destroying the position. Continuing his one-man assault, he moved to the second enemy position anddestroyed it with another grenade. Despite the fact that the enemy troopswere now directing their firepower against him and unleashing a shower ofgrenades in a frantic attempt to stop his advance, he moved forward againstthe third hostile emplacement, and skillfully neutralized the remainingenemy position. As his comrades moved forward to join him, Master SergeantKeeble continued to direct accurate fire against nearby trenches,inflicting heavy casualties on the enemy. Inspired by his courage, CompanyG successfully moved forward and seized its important objective. Theextraordinary courage, selfless service, and devotion to duty displayedthat day by Master Sergeant Keeble was an inspiration to all around him andreflected great credit upon himself, his unit, and the United States Army.(The Medal is presented.) (Applause.)END 2:51 P.M. 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