Two ships have been named after the Sullivan brothers because of the terrible loss of all five brothers who joined up together to fight in World War II : (Sullivans (DD 537), commissioned in 1943 and the USS The Sullivans (DDG-68) was commissioned in September 1993.)
The brothers are shown in the picture at left: Joseph, Francis, Albert, Madison and George Sullivan. All men from Waterloo, Iowa were serving on the same ship that went down following the 13 November 1942 Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.
It was later learned, through survivors’ accounts, that four of the brothers died in the initial explosion. The fifth, George Thomas, despite being wounded the night before, made it onto a raft where he survived for five days before succumbing either to wounds and exhaustion or a shark attack.
The brothers received the Purple Heart Medal posthumously and were entitled to the American Defense Service Medal, Fleet Clasp; Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with four engagement stars and the World War II Victory Medal. They had also earned the Good Conduct Medal.One can only imagine the grief felt by their family members. Their parents were Mr. Thomas F. Sullivan and Mrs. Alleta Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan was a brakeman on the Illinois Central Railroad. They were your typical Irish Catholic family. Their family motto was “We stick together” . That was what made them ask permission to serve together on the doomed ship. The brothers had one sister, Genevieve Sullivan who was close to her brothers.
Albert Leo Sullivan’s wife, Katherine Mary Sullivan had a son named James Thomas, who was twenty-two months old at the time of his father’s death. James Sullivan, later joined the Navy and served on the ship named for his father and uncles. His daughter is shown in the picture below.
Following the loss of their sons, Thomas and Alleta toured the United States. They spoke in plants, ship yards, and public events to help support the war effort. Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a Ship to be named “The Sullivans” and in 4, April 1943, The Fletcher Class Destroyer, USS The Sullivans launched with Alleta attending the event.
A movie was made of the story of these brave men and the grief, dedication and sacrifice of this Irish family. Five head stones are placed in their memory at Arlington National Cemetery.
Guidelines in part from the Navy Personnel:
” …In the Bureau of Naval Personnel Information Bulletin for July, 1942, it was stated that the Bureau considered it to be in the interest of their families that brothers not be put on the same ships in wartime, and added that “in view of the above, commanding officers will not forward requests for brothers to serve in the same ship or station.” Other than the foregoing announcements, no policies were put forth on the subject. The question of the advisability of coercive action to force the separation of brothers was considered, especially after the death of the five Sullivan brothers as a result of the sinking of the U.S.S. Juneau on 13 November 1942. However, no such action was taken.
On 15 November 1944 Bureau Circular Letter 345-44 was issued. It stated that in case a family had lost two or more sons in the armed forces and had only one surviving son, consideration would be given to application either by the family or the surviving son for the latter’s retention in the United States, unless he was engaged in non-hazardous duties overseas. On 14 April 1945 Bureau Circular Letter 107-45 broadened the rule to provide that if two or more members of the family had been lost consideration would be given to the return to the United States of all remaining members of the family….”
A VIDEO TRIBUTE TO THE FIVE SULLIVANS
We know that many people put their lives at risk to go into the smoking pieces of debris at Ground Zero on 9-11. Many of these first responders died and later many others became ill. We also know that there were a number of rescue dogs that helped find remains. We honor these brave men and women as well as the canines who helped on that terrible day.
At the time this video was made, Abby was the last living Rescue Dog from the training center. There is, however , another dog, Bretagne is the longest living rescue dog from 9-11. In the pictures above are search dogs that have passed away. We owe them great honor and gratitude.
Bretagne the golden retriever who is now 15 years old and the longest surviving rescue dog today. (2014) shown in this picture with her handler.
Today I would like to share a prayer from 2008 where the Twin Towers stood in New York City.
After reading the prayer, scroll down below to see what the people of New York have accomplished in the past years. Thanks to Yahoo News photographer Gordon Donovan who has taken many memorable images from photographs of 9-11 and found the exact spots today, we are able to see what the American people can do after such a tragedy.
“O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and
Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.
We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.
We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all. “
Pope Benedict XI–Prayer at Ground Zero
New York, 20 April 2008
Before and After Pictures of 9-11 and today
AMERICANS AND THOSE WHO HONOR THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO DIED ON 9-11 FROM COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD.
DON’T FORGET TO FLY YOUR FLAG THIS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
Who were the Doolittle Raiders? Many young people today will not be able to tell you.
Take a good look at these men. This was their last reunion picture taken as all are now in their 90’s.
Here is their story of courage and determination. What we want to remember about these men from World War II is that the Doolittle Raiders sent a message from the United States and the Free World to its enemies:
We will fight. No matter what it takes, we will win.
DURING THE WAR
It was December 7, 1941. Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in a sneak attack. It took 132 days of planning since that attack, but on April 18, 1942 the Doolittle raid took place. There were 80 Raiders when they carried out one of the most courageous and heart-stirring military operations in this nation’s history. Of the 80 Raiders, 62 survived the war. They were celebrated as national heroes, models of bravery.
The 16 five-man crews, under the command of Lt. Col. James Doolittle, who himself flew the lead plane off the USS Hornet, knew that they would not be able to return to the carrier. They would have to hit Japan and then hope to make it to China for a safe landing.
After Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, with the United States reeling and wounded, something dramatic was needed to turn the war effort around.
Even though there were no friendly airfields close enough to Japan for the United States to launch a retaliation, a daring plan was devised. Sixteen B-25s were modified so that they could take off from the deck of an aircraft carrier. This had never been tried — sending such big, heavy bombers from a carrier.
But on the day of the raid, the Japanese military caught wind of the plan. The Raiders were told that they would have to take off from farther out in the Pacific Ocean than they had counted on. They were told that because of this they would not have enough fuel to make it to safety. The men went anyway.
THE RESULTS OF THE RAID
They bombed Tokyo, and then flew as far as they could. Four planes crash-landed; 11 more crews bailed out, and three of the Raiders died. Eight more were captured; three were executed. Another died of starvation in a Japanese prison camp. One crew made it to Russia, where they were imprisoned.
Beginning in 1946, the surviving Raiders have held a reunion each April, to commemorate the mission. The reunion is in a different city each year. In 1959, the city of Tucson, Arizona, as a gesture of respect and gratitude, presented the Doolittle Raiders with a set of 80 silver goblets. Each goblet was engraved with the name of a Raider.
Every year, a wooden display case bearing all 80 goblets is transported to the reunion city. Each time a Raider passes away, his goblet is turned upside down in the case at the next reunion, as his old friends bear solemn witness. In the wooden case is a bottle of 1896 Hennessy Very Special cognac which was the year Jimmy Doolittle was born.
There has always been a reunion plan. When there are only two surviving Raiders, they would open the bottle, last drink from it, and toast their comrades who preceded them in death.
As 2013 began, there were five living Raiders; then, in February, Tom Griffin passed away at age 96. Bailing out of his plane over a mountainous Chinese forest after the Tokyo raid, he became ill with malaria, and almost died. When he recovered, he was sent to Europe to fly more combat missions. He was shot down, captured, and spent 22 months in a German prisoner of war camp.
(A side note about Tom Griffin and his character is also of interest. According to the Cincinnati Inquirer: “When his wife became ill and needed to go into a nursing home, he visited her every day. He walked from his house to the nursing home, fed his wife and at the end of the day brought home her clothes. At night, he washed and ironed her clothes. Then he walked them up to her room the next morning. He did that for three years until her death in 2005.” )
Sometime in 2014, the remaining Doolittle Raiders will get together informally and in privacy.
They will open the bottle of brandy and toast their fellow-Raiders once again for a job well done and for their sacrifices and determination over 72 years ago.
All free men and women must remember these men of valor who suffered and died for the cause of freedom. In our troubled world of aggression and brutality, it would be good for those who would want to destroy the free world to take a lesson from American fighting men as well as those in all free countries who gave so much.
DETERMINATION was then and DETERMINATION to stay free is now.
A picture on the wall was stitched carefully by hand. It read,” Life is fragile, handle with prayer”. Such a truth, yet so hard to grasp. We don’t think of life as fragile, but something that will continue on. It is hard to imagine that breath could stop suddenly without regard to age or status in life. It just happens…or does it? Perhaps we have some choice in whether our breathing continues or not. It may be just as simple as a seat belt.
One rarely thinks that for so long there were no laws to wear this small, strap across our chest. How insignificant….a simple, little strap is that may make the difference between life and death. It may make the difference also in the grief of a family or the joy in seeing you walk through the door. No one thinks about it until a police report shows a seat belt was…or was not worn.
Common sense and simply remembering that life is fragile may make a difference each time you turn on the ignition …..or your teenager does.
Dying that another may live is the greatest gift that anyone can give or receive. This is what our Lord Jesus Christ did for us. His sacrifice for the sins of the world…and for every person is hard to put in words. Maybe we can understand it better if we put it in a different context. We hear so much today about the rights of a woman to have an abortion…if she so desires. It is especially stressed by some, that an abortion would be acceptable if the health of the woman was at risk. Some women know that risk and are willing to take it that her child might live. Let me share a true story of one such woman.
Liz Joice and her husband, Max, found out they will have a child after thinking they will not be able to do so. The mother refuses a test and treatment that may harm the fetus. She loses her own life in this choice, but gives the gift of life to her child and to her husband and family. Having made this comparison to the greatest sacrifice of our Lord to that of a mother and a child, here are some details as told to the news media about Elizabeth Joice and her baby, Lily.
Cancer survivor Elizabeth Joice was told the chemotherapy that helped her beat sarcoma in 2010 would also leave her infertile, so when she and husband, Max, got the news that she was in fact pregnant, he said, “It very much felt like a miracle,” he tells CNN.
The happy news, however, was short-lived. Just a month into her pregnancy, Joice’s cancer returned, and though surgeons removed tumors from her back, there was no way of knowing how far the cancer had spread without a full-body MRI scan. But the dyes used in the scan could harm the baby, meaning she’d need to end the pregnancy before undergoing the procedure.
Joice opted to continue with her pregnancy but began having trouble breathing in her third trimester; an X-ray revealed tumors in her lungs. Jan. 23 brought both joy and devastation. Joice had a baby girl, Lily, via C-section, but “there were tons of tumors…” her doctor tells ABC News. “It had spread all over her abdomen.”
Tumors were also found in Joice’s heart and pelvis. She died six weeks later, on March 9. Still, her doctor remembers the first time she saw Joice hold her baby. “The joy on her face was just incredible,” she says.
“She said, ‘This is worth it … I would do it all again to have this child.'”
Elizabeth Joice died to save her child, Lily Joice. Jesus died to give us life…and to give it abundantly. “No greater love has any man (or woman) than to lay down his (or her) life for another. (as paraphrased from John 15:13)
Common decency is the requirement of accepted or respectable behavior expected of human beings. The head of EVERY nation should be demanding that Mr. Putin show common decency toward the families of those who died in the terrorist attack over Ukraine.
MR. PUTIN, RELEASE THOSE BODIES TO THEIR HOME NATIONS AND FAMILIES. Leave Ukraine and go home to rebuild your nation’s reputation….or are you the same as your predecessors?
Update as of July 23, 2014: Finally, some of the remains that were found in the crash site in Ukraine have made their way home. However, even today, the pro-Russian separatists shot down more aircraft. Mr. Putin has still not ask for the military to stop the fighting. Because the site was so badly decimated , the critical evidence and probably still some of the remains are yet to accounted for.