In Memorial

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by davparlr, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. davparlr

    davparlr Well-Known Member

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    For those of you who haven't seen the HBO series Band of Brothers, I recommend you watch it next time it comes on or get the DVD... a truely amazing story with something for everyone who had served in the military and even more for those who haven't.


    Subject: Memorial to Shifty Powers
    We're hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services.

    I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell "Shifty" Powers.

    Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you've seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

    I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn't know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the "Screaming Eagle", the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

    Making conversation, I asked him if he'd been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made.

    Quietly and humbly, he said "Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 . . . " at which point my heart skipped.

    At that point, again, very humbly, he said "I made the 5 training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where Normandy is?" At this point my heart stopped.

    I told him yes, I know exactly where Normandy was, and I know what D-Day was. At that point he said "I also made a second jump into Holland, into Arnhem." I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . . and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day.

    I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France, and he said "Yes. And it's real sad because these days so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can't make the trip." My heart was in my throat and I didn't know what to say.

    I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach, while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I'd take his in coach.

    He said "No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and still care is enough to make an old man very happy." His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

    Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer.

    There was no parade.

    No big event in Staples Center.

    No wall to wall back to back 24x7 news coverage.

    No weeping fans on television.

    And that's not right.

    Let's give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way. Please forward this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.

    Rest in peace, Shifty.

    "A nation without heroes is nothing."
    Roberto Clemente
     
  2. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    #2 wheelsup_cavu, Jul 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2010
    I remember his interviews on "Band of Brothers."
    It seemed that he had fell upon hard times after his time in the service.
    There also seemed to be sadness in him.
    Thanks for giving us your personal story involving the man Davparlr.

    R.I.P. Shifty. [​IMG]


    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v00GvyOJTLI


    Wheels
     
  3. Von Frag

    Von Frag Member

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    Fair winds Shifty. Powerful stuff Dav.
     
  4. barney

    barney Member

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    My father was in the troop carrier division. His plane went down and his buddies died over Normandy the night before D-Day.

    The other day my mother got out the insignia he wore on his uniform and the yellow "Alert Crew" band he wore on his arm. The news papers she kept are becoming very brown and brittle. She showed me paper money and coins my father collected in various places he visited in the war.

    Lots of memorabilia - I photographed all I could. It is all starting to seem like such a long time ago.
     
  5. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    I know everyone here would LOVE to see a massive media-storm at his funeral, and for it to be an all-out occasion. However, I can't help but think that Mr. Powers (and pretty much any other vet who served, for that matter) would not want the attention, any more than he wanted to take your First Class seat. I would push for world-wide coverage myself, but have to say that groups of guys huddled in the corner of the local bar, talking in hushed tones while nursing a beer or two would probably be more tribute than he would want. Media hype moves on to the next big topic in a day or two, and the mass public will soon forget all the Jackson glitz and bling. I think Shifty would rather be quietly remembered and spoken well of for at least another generation.

    Shifty Powers, rest in peace. You've most definitely earned it, and this site (at the very least) will never forget. :salute:
     
  6. renrich

    renrich Active Member

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    Dav, you do good work!
     
  7. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Although he might not want it and would probably refuse, he is far more deserving of a memorial at the Staples Center.

    :salute: Shifty!
     
  8. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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  9. Doughboy

    Doughboy Member

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    #9 Doughboy, Jul 12, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2009
    Amazing story:cry:... I really like the Band of Brothers series.... R.IP Darrel "Shifty" Powers.:salute::salute: :salute: :salute: :salute:
     
  10. Amsel

    Amsel Active Member

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    :(
    What are we going to do without these men?
     
  11. diddyriddick

    diddyriddick Active Member

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  12. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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  13. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    I got to meet him a few years ago when he did a USO tour with some of the other members of the unit as well as some of the actors who played them in the movies.

    :salute:

    He should never be forgotten.
     
  14. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    Great story Dav. Thanks for sharing.
     
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