Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on May 31, 2010
Our family’s American flag is proudly waving in the front yard, and I’m thinking about our troops, past and present, to whom Memorial Day is dedicated. With my trusty cup of steaming java, I’ve spent more than an hour today watching troop tribute videos.
Every day should be Memorial Day. It was for the late comedian Bob Hope, who spent more than four decades entertaining our deployed troops. For Hope, our troops were more precious than jewels, and he tirelessly went into war zones for decades to let our troops know that America respected and admired them, and that they were not forgotten.
Hope entertained service personnel from World War II through Desert Storm in 1990. He answered every letter sent to him by a service man. Even at age 87, he selflessly traveled to the far reaches of the world to give the gift of laughter to our deployed military.
A naturalized citizen, a Hollywood icon, an American patriot who was born in England, Bob Hope was an inspiration to so many. He passionately gave of himself to those who made freedom possible.
He lived to be 100… God bless you, Bob. May the rest of America live up to your legacy and continue to honor our troops, as you did every day.
Bob Hope, Jayne Mansfield – Guam & Japan, USO (1957)
Bob Hope Christmas Special: Raquel Welch, Barbara McNair, Miss World, Phil Crosby (1967)
From IMDb.com, some bio info on Bob Hope’s dedication to our troops:
Entertained U.S. troops starting 6th May 1941, and became the first ‘honorary veteran’ by Congress — in 1997, Congress named Hope an honorary U.S. veteran, citing his decades of entertaining troops around the world. He is the only person to receive that distinction.
On his wartime USO tours he had one ironclad rule that he insisted his fellow performers follow: under no circumstances were they allowed to cry when visiting wounded soldiers in military hospitals. This was often difficult given the amount of suffering they saw, but he told his performers that it was their duty to always smile and provide laughs and good cheer for the troops. According to Hope, he broke his own rule only once. While visiting an army hospital in Italy in 1943, he stopped at the bedside of a wounded soldier who had been in a coma for two months. The soldier suddenly opened his eyes and said, “Hey, Bob Hope! When did you get here?” He had to leave the hospital room to keep the troops from seeing his tears, but he returned a few hours later to present the soldier with his Purple Heart medal.
Has a ship named after him: USNS Bob Hope. Also, in 1997, the U.S. Air Force honored Hope by naming a cargo plane “The Spirit of Bob Hope” after the legendary entertainer.
Awarded a Congressional Gold Medal by President John F. Kennedy at the White House. (September 11th 1963).
Awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon Johnson on his last day in office. (January 20th 1969).
At the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, Hope released a statement saying he wished he could go to the country to entertain the troops, but that his doctors would not allow him.
Hope enlisted many other entertainers to join him in his USO tours, including beautiful women…
I posted a video tribute to our heroic troops last week for Memorial Day (Memorial Day: Remember Our Fallen Military Heroes Who Gave Their Lives for Freedom (video), but here are a few other videos from previous Memorial Day concerts that especially touched me this morning.
Thank you to all who have served or are serving in our military. Your devotion to service and this country is appreciated more than words can express. Thank you, also, to the families of those troops who gave the ultimate sacrifice.
God bless our troops, and God bless America!
NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT | Salute to the Armed Forces Services | PBS, 2008
Synopsis of the next video:
PBS — May 04, 2007 — Acclaimed actor Joe Mantegna introduces Gary Sinise, who pays special tribute to the “citizen soldiers” of the National Guard and their families at home during PBS’s NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT. Shock waves have run through many towns across America that are deeply impacted by the loss of these men and women when tragedy strikes.
NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT | National Guard | PBS 2007
Memorial Day Concert 2008 – God Bless America, Rodney Atkins
In Memory of Flipper 75