Topic: "Great American Hero"
"So that is the answer Oh great Carnak, and we, thy unworthy servants, are supposed to guess the question?"
"Correctamundo, oh camel breath."
Frodo still misses Johnny Carson, and the way he could turn something from one end to another, and something very serious would become so very funny. Frodo will do his best to take the name of a real guy, and see if he can't say something appropriate about a real hero.
In her new book, "Stoic Warriors: The Ancient Philosophy Behind the Military Mind," Nancy Sherman reports on her interview with Hugh Thompson. For those of you old enough to remember, the name will come soon. For those of you under age 40, Frodo will explain.
Lt. William Calley of Georgia led a troop of American soldiers into a tiny hamlet called My Lai. For whatever reason, the Americans lined the villagers, including unarmed men, women, and children, in front of a ditch and they began to machine gun them into eternity.
Hugh Thompson, from the same small town in Georgia, was piloting a helicopter and observed the on-going massacre. Thompson brought the helicopter to a landing alongside the American troops, and he ordered his side gunner to open fire on Calley's men if they blocked his efforts to halt the massacre at My Lai.
Frodo has long believed that the massacres at Kent State and at My Lai were among the worst moments in his lifetime.
Hugh Thompson returned to Vietnam, and to the village of My Lai some 30 years later. A frail, aging woman who had survived the massacre rushed up to meet Hugh Thompson. Through an interpreter she asked him "Why didn't the people who committed the murder come back with you," and there was a pause while the interpreter completed the sentence, and Thompson erroneously thought he already knew what the end of the sentence would be, "so that we could forgive them?"
At that point, Thompson recalled to Sherman, "I totally lost it. How could this woman have compassion in her heart for someone who was so evil. She's a better person than I am."
Frodo has heard of the incredible confrontation between Calley and Thompson, two boys from the same town in Georgia, in the same tiny hamlet in Vietnam, in one of the darkest of all moments. It proves that it is a small world, after all.
Hugh Thompson made it a better place. Frodo has always wanted to meet Hugh Thompson's son, and like the fictional minister in a little town in Georgia to have him stand respectfully when his father, not unlike Atticus Finch, walked by.