Alpha Omega M.D. – Final Episode

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Final Episode

…Alpha O. Campbell, M.D. deserved a better fate. Gwendolyn Hoff has given it to him. Thank you for the privilege of writing this story.

A.O., God rest your soul. It has been one wild ride!…

 

When We Last Left

In chapters 8 and 9 we are introduced to suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, who is an admitted sidetrack. Company Town-001The company town Blountstown is the Calhoun County seat, but it is mere fodder for the overall story. Company towns can really be like Blountstown.

All the above is a lead-up to our late involvement in WWI, where we meet Sir James KISS FOR CINDERELLA-001Matthew Barrie, the prolific playwright and cousin to John Ferrell. John Ferrell’s supply ship, the Panama City, never sailed, was not sunk by U-Boat submarines, though the elder Ferrell did indeed die in 1916; such a blue-blooded way to Pearson Eastman Journal-001die, helping your Scottish ancestors through a tough time.

Chapters 10 and 11 encompass that bloody 1st world war, along with the deadly influenza that started inPearson Eastman Journal-001 Europe and traveled back to the US. 30 million people died worldwide and that is about the time that Alpha Omega Campbell began practicing medicine.

After the doctor and Maggie wed in 1918, they both had affairs that produced Maggie Lou-001children. Maggie’s dalliance produced middle daughter, Laura. That little child was so fair-skinned, right banker Lewis? Alpha, for his part, did father a child; it’s just that whether it was with Camille Diaz is buried amongst the Careless Whispers. Camille is fictional.

Alice Paul did argue for the cause of the right for women to vote, which was a hard fought and contentious lead-up to the Roaring Twenties, but is window dressing for my purposes.

Those Roaring years of flappers and debauchery are bypassed here, as is the Great Depression. It Image result for r.i.pseems the author does not deal well with hard times, which resurface in the closing chapters, a.k.a. the happy, or rather, calm ending. So From the Ashes emerges the mid-1930’s. We lose great characters Harv Pearson, Herb Love and Phoebe. We’ve already left the Endlichoffer’s behind and the elder Ferrells.

James Ferrell LawyerJames Ferrell becomes the Dr.’s lawyer and we are (re)introduced to Carolyn Hanes (Constance Caraway – Private Eye) and her lover Sara Fenwick (Fanny Constance Caraway P.I.-001Renwick). Like the incest episode between James and Agnes, this Lesbian relationship is a glimpse into life in the South, as well as real life. This statement is not meant to offend, it’s just that things happen down there that are “different”, perhaps more frequently or just a figment of a fertile fancy.

Newt Swakhammer-001       Chapters, Hospitable, Inhospitable fly us to Area 51 and an alien contact. Good ol’ Newt Swakhammer, what a guy? The government calls him a crank. But the year 1947 harbors UFO’s, as well as the brick & mortar of Laura Bell Memorial Hospital… born of Alpha O. Campbell’s spirit, the building itself is one large lightning rod; meant for good, yet attracting an LBMH-001onslaught of controversy and hardship.

We look back at Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, along 434f7-disneylandwith the world of Cinderella. And then we are bounced ahead to Michael Rennie and Walt Disney; what an odyssey of entertainment.

 

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latobsd3-001As for the remainder of The Life and Times, not so many pages back, your imagination isLATOBSD4-001 the king. My imagination has splattered the backdrop of history from way-back 1896, all the way up to the dawn of John Fitzgerald Kennedy… Just the dawn, mind you, then you are reeled back to 1955.

Isn’t that rude? But look at the payoff. Instead of an old man in jail, we LBMHhappen upon a Laura Bell Memorial Hospital with a future. What a shame that this was not the ending to the saga of one of the first Black doctors in Florida. In my rosy reality, we all have access to Alice’s Wonderful Looking Glass.

 

gwenAlpha O. Campbell, M.D. deserved a better fate. Gwendolyn Hoff has given it to him. Thank you for the privilege of writing this story.

 

 A.O., God rest your soul. It has been one wild ride!

 

Image result for the end gif

Copyright © 2016 by Gwendolyn K Hoff   All Rights Reserved


Alpha Omega M.D.

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– Final Episode

Contents 5-2016

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #263

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #263

…Merely for the sake of argument milady, if you were a spy, would you travel on the Clipper?…

Belle of the Ball by Bridget Davies

Belle of the Ball by Bridget Davies

“May I cut in?” Barney Sawicki, the same Barney Sawicki who was star struck by Mary Pickford, aboard an earlier incarnation of the Clipper in 1935, steals a dance with Sara Fenwick, who has turned into the belle of the ball. Lyn was so busy pumping Lady Mountbatten for information about British intelligence, poor Sara is forced to dance her feet off. She will get even, sooner or later, but for the time being any number of men get a close up view of her chest. What the hell, what harm can come of a few fixated peeps? No man fondles her girls, thank God.

The MI5 Crest

“MI-5 is the most tenacious organization in the world,” Lady Mountbatten relates to her intrigued inquisitor. “They need to be, with Hitler at our doorstep. It is all they can do to keep him from bombing our brains out. If it were not for the air raid sirens and the intelligence we get from them, casualties would be devastating.”

“If you were a spy…?”

“I beg your pardon?” The word spy repulses the Lady.

Merely for the sake of argument milady, if you were a spy, would you travel on the Clipper?

“Oh yes, most definitely. With all the stops it makes in the Pacific Theater, good heavens, a touristy looking chap could have been practicing his craft for years. He could have a contact in every harbor. But keep in mind, because of your unexpected detour; he will be acting more suspiciously.”

1937 CC P.I.-001

An excerpt from Constance Caraway P.I. – The Hawaiian Spy:

“Have you been watching that man in the blue suit, Fanny?” Constance has, ever since she saw him sneak off the Pacific Clipper in Colombo, Ceylon.

          “I did. I don’t think he thought that anybody would notice. But I did not recognize the launch that picked him up.”

          “Yes. Yes.” The gears inside Constance Caraway’s mind are turning and churning. This mysterious man had raised no suspicion until now, like he knows what he is doing and doing it for a while. “And have you noticed that he speaks to no one on the plane, and when we’re ashore, he disappears into thin air.”

          “Maybe I should follow him around at our next stop, take a few pictures,” Fanny suggests. “That photo lab we set up in our stateroom is actually quite good.”

          “Yes it is. Those chemical baths are easier to get than good airplane fuel… I didn’t think we were going to clear the trees back there.” The sound of rustling palm leaves, tickling the flying boat belly, would not be audible, but it can be imagined. “Let’s get back to our mystery man, my dear Fanny. If you could get pictures of the people he meets, that would be helpful. That would leave me free to follow some other leads. It seems that we are attracting an unusual amount of attention, considering we don’t have a flight plan,” Constance tells her trusted colleague.   “Be careful Fanny!”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Fiction vs Nonfiction

Episode #263


page 246

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #259

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #259

…The Japanese have attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, making it impossible for us to return on an eastward course. We are to make our way west until we reach New York…

Pearl Harbor by Chuck Hamrick

Pearl Harbor by Chuck Hamrick

In the cockpit of the Pacific Clipper, they are ignoring whales as well…  and anything but what is coming through to them on their radio. They are being told to proceed to Auckland and await further instruction there. Upon landing, they are instructed to head west and return the Clipper to La Guardia Field, New York. The regular return route is not safe.

braceT LFT“TO:              CAPTAIN ROBERT FORDbracket rt

FROM:         CHIEF, FLIGHT SYSTEMS

SUBJECT:  DIVERSION PLANS FOR NC18602

NORMAL RETURN ROUTE CANCELED STOP PROCEED AS FOLLOWS COLON STRIP ALL COMPANY MARKINGS COMMA REGISTRATION NUMBERS COMMA AND IDENTIFIABLE INSIGNIA FROM EXTERIOR SURFACES STOP PROCEED WESTBOUND SOONEST YOUR DISCRETION TO AVOID HOSTILITIES AND DELIVER NC18602 TO MARINE TERMINAL LAGUARDIA FIELD NEW YORK STOP GOOD LUCK STOP

It is Captain Ford’s unsavory duty to explain the situation and their dilemma. “The United States has declared war on Japan,” he begins, eliciting a gasp from the assembled two-score interested parties. “The Japanese have attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, making it impossible for us to return on an eastward course. We are to make our way west until we reach New York. To do so, we must research a possible route and make sure we are prepared to make any repairs to the aircraft along the way. This is going to take some time.”

Robert Ford-001

Most everyone is in a state of stunned disbelief. Individual inconveniences aside, these events mean that the war has hit home and it is the world’s second such in the span of two-plus decades. Leaders have come and gone, but the results are the same, which makes it hard for Americans to understand. None of these conflicts have taken place on our soil, at least until now. Could the Japanese be on their way to California?

“We will be returning to Noumea to pick up supplies and make sure that all Pan American employees are taken care of. From there we will stop at Gladstone, Australia. Anyone, who wants to get off, can do so there. In fact, I cannot make you stay aboard the Clipper, or prevent you from departing, from anywhere we land. But you will be responsible for your own passage home after we leave Queensland, Australia. I can tell you that none of our stops will exactly be exotic ports of call.

          “In the meantime, we at Pan American Airways will do everything we can to make this journey as comfortable as possible. You will be reimbursed for any personal funds that you use.” That last statement is pure speculation, be is sure that Trippe would be so pleased to see his aircraft return, that he will make good that remote promise.


Alpha Omega M.D.

“The full-throat-ed roar of the four engines filled the cabin as NC 18602 moved forward into the takeoff run.  The slap-slap of  the water under the hull became a staccato drum beat.  Spray whipped higher over the sea wings.  After a few seconds the hull began to rise out of the water but was not quite free.  Ford held the yoke steady as the airspeed indicator displayed the increasing speed: 40 knots…  50…  60…  70…

Pacific Clipper Take-off

Episode #259

“At 70 knots Ford brought the yoke back gently.  The Clipper nosed up.  Passengers seated in the aft compartments might have thought they were about to submerge as the tail came close to the water and the spray hurtling back from the sea wings splattered the windows.  At 75 knots Ford eased up a little on the yoke then immediately brought it back.  This rocking motion was necessary to raise the ship “on the step” – that area of the hull which would be the last to break free from the clinging suction effect of the water now hurtling along underneath the ship.  As the airspeed went to 80 knots the sound of the water abruptly ceased.  The thrumming beat against the hull was replaced by a sudden smoothness as the great ship broke free and began climbing.”  — from Ed Dover’s The Long Way Home


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #257

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #257

…Every Captain in my Clipper fleet, including the Atlantic routes, is getting one of these, it is marked, PLAN A – TOP SECRET – FOR CAPTAIN’S EYES ONLY

FOR CAPTAIN'S EYES-001

In early December 1941:  

 “The Japanese are driving right for Hong Kong. What the hell are we supposed to do about the Clipper?” wonders Terry Trippe, not exactly thrilled with Japan’s policies in the Pacific. His island hopping enterprise depends on safe skies and tranquil seas. The ocean currents are tumultuous and the south sea air is fraught with turbulence.

          “Why would that little bunch of islands be dumb enough to take on Uncle Sam?” asks Captain Robert Ford, one of Pan American Airway’s skilled pilots. His flying boat is the Pacific Clipper, which stays well south of Hong Kong, reaching Auckland, New Zealand before backtracking to California.

Pacific Clipper Route

“We didn’t do anything about Hitler when we had a chance. Look where that got England… and France… and Poland. Shit, John, if you ask me, we should have joined the war, you know, declared war when Britain was bombed, not just supplying them with arms and goods. Are we going to allow Japan to the same damned thing?” Terry Trippe echoes the sentiments of many of the interested observers around the world. He has gone so far as planning for the worst case scenario. “Every Captain in my Clipper fleet, including the Atlantic routes is getting one of these.” It is marked “PLAN A – TOP SECRET – FOR CAPTAIN’S EYES ONLY”.

“You know something, something big, don’t you?”

Foresight is one of Terry Trippe’s stronger traits.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Pacific Clipper-001

Episode #257


page 241

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Stories of Charitable Christians – WIF Religion

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Inspiring by Karen Grenfell

Inspiring Stories

of

Charitable Christians

We recently told you about ten of the most-inspiring stories in history featuring Muslims. Awesome as that article was, no one single religion has a monopoly on virtue. Just as there are inspiring tales of Muslims out there, so are there inspiring tales of Jews, Hindus, Buddhists…and Christians.

Since the foundation of their religion, Christians have implored one another to ‘love thy neighbor’ and ‘turn the other cheek.’ While not everyone who calls themselves a Christian manages to uphold these ideals, those who do are capable of some extreme acts of inspiring selflessness. Here are ten Christians who didn’t let themselves be blinded by prejudice…but instead dug deep into themselves and found the strength to do the most-amazing things possible.

10. The Orthodox Serb Who Gave His Life to Save a Muslim

srdjan

When the soldiers came for shopkeeper Alen Glavovic, he knew his time was up. A Muslim shopkeeper in the Bosnian-Serb town of Trebinje, he had the misfortune to be living at the time of the vicious 1991-95 Bosnian civil war. It was a time when mainly-Orthodox Serbs went on the rampage, slaughtering hundreds of thousands of Bosniak Muslims, and Trebinje was no exception. On this bleak day in 1993, Glavovic was to be the Serbs’ latest victim.

At least, that was how things were meant to go. But the three Serb soldiers who arrived to kill Glavovic hadn’t reckoned with one man: Srdjan Aleksic.

A Christian Orthodox Serb who was a reservist in the army, Aleksic fit the profile for a Muslim-hater to a T. But Aleksic was a little different from his fellow Serbian soldiers. He was first and foremost a Christian. So when he saw three men beating an unarmed shopkeeper to death, he bravely decided to step in.

In the resulting scuffle, the three soldiers murdered Aleksic. Yet his intervention allowed Glavovic to escape. He literally gave his life for his fellow man. Aleksic’s good deed was not forgotten. Years later, the citizens of the Serbian city of Belgrade named a street in his honor – to remind themselves that even in their darkest hour, some of their soldiers were still capable of amazing acts of compassion.

9. The Latvian Janitor Who Saved Liepaja’s Jews

seduls

It’s a cliché that some men are born to greatness, while others have greatness thrust upon them. In Robert Seduls’ case, though, it’s extremely apt. A lowly janitor living out his life in Latvia’s third-largest city, Seduls probably assumed his name would never be praised around the world.

Yet Seduls just happened to be living his life at the same time Hitler was annexingevery country he could get his grubby hands on. He also just happened to be a Christian who took ‘love thy neighbor’ seriously…even when that neighbor was a Jewish man wanted by the occupying Nazis.

Under Germany’s control, punishments in Latvia for sheltering a Jew were horrifying. Nonetheless, when the Nazis liquidated the ghetto, Seduls offered shelter to his former neighbor David Zivcon, along with Zivcon’s wife and two friends. The janitor built them a shelter in the cellar behind a fake wall. He kept them hidden there for 500 days.

Over time, word got out to surviving Jews about Seduls’ efforts. More and more people turned up on his doorstep. Seduls offered shelter and food to them all. By 1945, there were 11 people hidden in the cellar, and you better believe feeding them all on a janitor’s wage in occupied Latvia at the height of the war while death squads roamed the streets was hard and dangerous work.

But Seduls stuck at it. Although he tragically died only days before Liepaja was liberated by the Red Army, all 11 Jews he was sheltering survived. Before the war, Liepaja’s Jewish population had been 7,000. After, it was a mere 30. Sedul alone had saved over a third of them.

8. The Irish Priest Who Stuck it to the Nazis

oflaherty

You’ve probably heard of Oskar Schindler. The former-Nazi turned humanitarian managed to save 1,200 Jewish lives during WWII. That’s a lot of people, but even that pales in comparison to the work of Hugh O’Flaherty. An Irish priest working at the Vatican during WWII, he is estimated to have single-handedly saved around 6,500 Jews and Allied soldiers from the Nazi death machine.

How he did this should be a Hollywood movie in its own right. During WWII, Mussolini’s fascist state got increasingly more, well, fascist, before finally being fully taken-over by the Nazi regime. In other words, it was far from safe ground from which to operate a mercy mission. Yet O’Flaherty managed it. Setting up base deep in the heart of the Vatican, he devised a system of safe houses and clandestine smuggling operations that stretched as far away as Malta. When the fascists came for the country’s Jews, he got them into hiding. When they later came for Allied soldiers stuck behind enemy lines, O’Flaherty saved them, too.

The best part? O’Flaherty lived to see the difference he’d made. In the aftermath of WWII, he was honored by the US, UK, France, and Italy. As the priest was fond of saying: “God has no country.”

7. The Janitor Who Saved 200 Girls from a Suicide Bomber

pervaiz

If there’s one strange fact we’ve taken from writing this article, it’s that Christians who are also janitors tend to be some of the bravest people on Earth. Like Robert Seduls in Latvia, Pervaiz Masih was just a regular guy working a regular job. A cleaner at the International Islamic University’s female-only campus in Islamabad, Pakistan, he probably never expected his name to hit the news. But when death came calling in 2009, the Christian was the only one with the guts to stand in its way.

In this case, death came in the form of an extremist jerk who decided to bomb the university. Unhappy at the thought of women learning, he strapped himself into a suicide vest, disguised himself under a burka and tried to walk into the campus’s cafeteria. At the time, the room was packed with around 400 girls. The bombers vest was filled with ball-bearings. A successful attack could have killed hundreds and wounded even more. Luckily for those girls, Pervaiz Masih just happened to be cleaning nearby.

As the bomber approached, Masih seems to have realized what was about to happen. Rather than call for help, he ran to the cafeteria’s door and physically blocked the bomber’s path. Like the jerk he was, the bomber detonated his vest, killing Masih. Yet Masih’s sacrifce wasn’t in vain. By intercepting the bomber, he caused the force of the explosion to rebound backwards into the empty parking lot instead of into the cafeteria. Thanks to his bravery, hundreds of girls who should have died that day lived instead.

6. The Priest Who Taught His Students the Greatest Lesson

lucien

The name Lucien Bunel should probably be known by everyone on Earth. A Carmelite priest, he ran the Petit Collège des Carmes, in Avon, near Fontainebleau. When the Germans invaded France, Bunel (also known as Father Jacques) made the decision to admit three young Jewish boys into the school to shelter them. What happened next will break your heart.

Although Bunel succeeded in keeping the children safe for most of the war, his luck finally ran out in January 1944. Some anonymous scum who knew about the boys turned informer, and gave the Gestapo details about Bunel’s heroic deed. The Nazis duly arrived and arrested the three children. Bunel, his mother, his sister, and the three Jewish boys were deported to Auschwitz or Mauthausen. They all died.

So why are we including this in an article on inspirational Christian stories? Well, shortly before his arrest, Bunel was heard to say, “I am sometimes accused of imprudence; I am told that since I am responsible for the children at the Petit College, I do not have the right to expose myself to possible arrest by the Germans. But do you not think that, if that happened and, if per chance I should be killed, I would thereby bequeath to my students an example worth far more than all the teaching I could give.”

It turned out he was right. The day the Gestapo took him, all the students at the school flocked to see. As the good father vanished into the morning mist, he turned and called out “Au revoir et a bientot”  (Goodbye and see you soon). Immediately, all the watching boys erupted into thunderous applause. Even as the Gestapo shouted at them to be quiet, they kept defiantly applauding, giving Bunel the send-off he deserved.

5. The Priest Who Sheltered 1,500 Muslims from Ethnic Violence

kinvi

Not all heroic Christians lived long ago. Father Bernard Kinvi of the Central African Republic (CAR) is every bit as modern as you or us. Yet his heroism is every bit as impressive as those who lived during WWII.

In 2013, Muslim rebels overthrew the CAR’s government and began a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Christians, killing men, women, and children. Fast forward to January 2014, and the Christians forced the Islamist rebels from power. Only rather than focus on promoting peace and turning the other cheek, they immediately began their own campaign of sectarian violence. An anti-balaka Christian militia rose up and went on the rampage, murdering Muslim men, women and children. Against this bloodshed stood one man: Father Bernard Kinvi.

In the small town of Bossemptele, the Father threw open the doors of his mission to those fleeing violence. Up to 1,500 Muslim civilians poured in. When the Christian militias turned up, Father Kinvi refused to hand them over. Despite being unarmed and facing the constant threat of death, he managed to stare down the killers. Through sheer force of personality, he kept the anti-balaka at bay until nearly every Muslim was safely over the border.

Most-impressively, Father Kinvi didn’t just help Muslims. When anti-balaka members were wounded, he treated them just as he would those fleeing them. His attitude directly contributed to spreading peace in Bossemptele. At one point, he even managed to convince anti-balakas to help him evacuate Muslims peacefully – something that should have been impossible.

4. The Man Who Made it His Christian Duty to End Slavery

wilberforce

William Wilberforce was one of the most-awesome men of the 18th century. How awesome? At a time when the vast majority of people thought it was cool to sell Africans into slavery, he took one look at the whole rotten system and said “no.” He was an ardent abolitionist, motivated by a deep-seated Christian belief that all men should be equal before God. And he used that belief to change the world.

Back in 1790, most Brits thought enslaving Africans was doing them a favor. Although there were some abolitionist movements – like the Quakers – no-one took them seriously. But Wilberforce was connected. He was friends with the Prime Minister, Pitt. Wilberforce used those connections to get himself a chance to make the case against slavery in the House of Commons. Boy, did he go for it.

For three hours, he bludgeoned everyone present with facts about slavery’s cruelties; about how many died during the voyage, about conditions in the Caribbean, about the sadism of slave masters. He ended his speech with a rhetorical flourish to the lawmakers that’s still remembered to this day: “Having heard all of this you may choose to look the other way but you can never again say that you did not know.”

This was the speech that got the ball rolling on the abolitionist movement in Britain. Although it would take nearly another 20 years for slavery to be outlawed in Britain, and another 20 after that for the ruling to be implemented in the colonies, Wilberforce was instrumental in it all. He even lived long enough to see the end of British slavery. He died exactly two days after slavery was abolished throughout the Empire for good.

3. The Forgotten Chaplains of WWII

chaplain

WWII was carnage for pretty much everyone involved. Even as a latecomer, the US lost nearly half a million men. Although the exploits of the US and other Allied armies have since become the stuff of legend, there’s one branch of the military who deserve to be remembered more: US Army chaplains.

Per capita, more chaplains were killed in WWII than any other military group, bar the Army Air Corps. This wasn’t due to there being a low number of chaplains, or a spate of accidents mysteriously targeting men of the cloth. It’s because the chaplains were driven by a deep sense of duty to go right into the heat of battle.

One representative example is an unnamed Catholic priest who was present at the infamous Battle of the Bulge. An injured officer witnessed him running full pelt towards the Ardennes, where the fighting was thickest. Apparently, he called out “Chappie, what in the world do you think you’re doing? People up there are dying by the scores!” The chaplain said, “That’s precisely why I need to be there!”

Incredibly, this story is not unique. Across the entire arena of war, chaplains from all denominations put themselves into deadly danger just to bring a tiny bit of comfort to dying men. If that isn’t heroism, we don’t know what is.

2. The Christians (and Muslims) of Albania Defy the Holocaust

albania

This entry is split between both Albania’s Christian and Muslim communities. Yet it’s so amazing and inspiring that there’s no way we could leave it off.

During WWII, Albania was swiftly occupied by Axis troops. At the time, the country was home to a mere 200 Jews. Nonetheless, the Nazis decided to bring the Final Solution to Albania, too, like the big jerky jerks they were. It was a decision that should have resulted in 200 more deaths added to the total of the worst genocide in history. Instead, something amazing happened.

Albania’s Christian and Muslim communities decided they weren’t going to let their Jewish neighbors die on their watch. Across the country, Albanian Jews, along with 400 Jewish refugees from Austria and Germany, were taken into hiding and protected. When word got out, hundreds more Jews poured in from across the Balkans seeking shelter. And Albania’s two major religious groups provided it. Even when the Germans took over ruling the country from the Italian fascists, they kept the country’s Jews safe.

In fact, Albania’s Christians and Muslims did such a good job, that Albania became the only occupied European country to end the war with more Jews that it started it with.

1. The Polish Priest Who Made the Ultimate Sacrifice

kolbe

How far would your compassion take you? Would you sacrifice yourself to save 100 others? What about 10? What about just 1? Polish priest and Auschwitz prisoner Maximillian Kolbe didn’t even have to think twice. When Nazi guards randomly selected 10 prisoners to starve to death as reprisal for an escape attempt, he did something most of us could only dream of doing.

It was August 14, 1941, a hot and bitter day in the death camp. The Nazis had rounded up the 10 men and were making an example of them. Just before they were sent to their deaths, one of them men,  Franciszek Gajowniczek, fell to the ground and cried out My wife! My children! I will never see them again! Moved by his grief, Maximillian Kolbe stepped forward and did something unthinkable. He offered to die in Gajowniczek’s place.

The Nazis granted his request.

Over the next two weeks, Kolbe and nine other men enduring mind-numbing agony as they died of starvation and dehydration. Yet Kolbe tried his best to keep their spirits up, singing psalms and offering prayers. He was the last of the group to expire, executed by lethal injection after the Nazis decided he was taking too long to die.

But there’s a truly amazing twist to this story. See, Kolbe didn’t die for nothing. Franciszek Gajowniczek was so moved by his offer that he swore to survive Auschwitz and honor the dead man’s memory. And he did. Gajowniczek finally expired in 1995 aged 93. Maximillian’s Christian charity had saved his life.


Stories of Charitable Christians

WIF Religion-001

– WIF Religion

Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #219

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #219

…George Eastman, the inventor of the Kodak camera, a captain of  industry, reduces himself to nursemaid, helping his brother-in-law cling to life…

captains of industry

 “That damned flu hit him from out of nowhere. I found him in bed, after the magazine called me wondering if I had seen him,”  George Eastman recalls the events.

        “And I was across the country, oh what kind of wife can I be!?” She is distraught. “Why didn’t he let us know he was coming home? I would not have gone away in the first place.”

          “He is upstairs. The hospitals are full. Here, put this on, we don’t need anyone else sick.” He hands her a mask.

          “Is it that bad? I mean if the hospitals are full, that would be thousands.”

          “Didn’t you read the papers in California?” George asks like she came from another planet.

          “No, had no time, just heard talk of us winning some big battles in Europe.”

          “11,000 are dead in Philadelphia alone.”

          She hangs her head. “That is why the streets are deserted isn’t it?”

Pearson Eastman Journal-001

          “People are afraid to talk to anybody. And poor Harv, he was shaken badly when he came home, only ten men survived on the Navy ship he crossed the ocean in. He was putting together a story when it got him.”

          “Oh, my God – I want to see him,” she rushes to his side.

“You may not recognize him, lost a lot of weight, and he sleeps all day, it’s all I can do to get him to take in fluids, but I think he’s getting a little better.” George Eastman, the inventor of the Kodak camera, a captain of the photographic industry, reduces himself to nursemaid, helping his brother-in-law cling to life. “The good news is that he has made it past the first day. Most people who die go fast, mostly younger too.”

“He’s got a strong heart… oh, Harv I am so sorry I wasn’t here for you, can you ever forgive me?” She kneels beside their bed, sobbing, not expecting an answer.

“Do you think I would die without being able to ask my partner why she abandoned our magazine, to be a movie star no less?” Harv Pearson’s speech is slow, but lucid.

“I can’t hug you, you rascal, but when I can, look out.” She looks back at George, mouthing a hearty, ‘thank you’.

Meanwhile

The Spanish influenza leaves as quickly as it had struck, erasing thirty million lives along the way, in time to allow dancing in the streets when the Armistice is signed and the Great War ends on November 11th.

  The balance of power has shifted… for now.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Colorized photo shows the German delegation, as they arrive to sign the Armistice provisionally ending World War One, in a train dining car outside Compiegne, France. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty)

Episode #219


page 206 (end ch. 11)

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Memorial Day Beginnings – WABAC to The Old South

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Memorial Day Beginnings

"Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“Where is the WABAC Machine going to take us this time, Mr. Peabody?

“We will go back to the American south and the birth of a national holiday to honor our fallen soldiers.”

The practice of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers is an ancient custom. Soldiers’ graves were decorated in the U.S. before and during the American Civil War. A claim was made in 1906 that the first Civil War soldier’s grave ever decorated was in Warrenton, Virginia, on June 3, 1861, implying the first Memorial Day occurred there. Though not for Union soldiers, there is authentic documentation that women in Savannah, Georgia, decorated Confederate soldiers’ graves in 1862. In 1863, the cemetery dedication at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was a ceremony of commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers. Local historians in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, claim that ladies there decorated soldiers’ graves on July 4, 1864. As a result, Boalsburg promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day.

by Erni Vales

Following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in April 1865, there were a variety of events of commemoration. The sheer number of soldiers of both sides who died in the Civil War, more than 600,000, meant that burial and memorialization took on new cultural significance. Under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had taken shape. In 1865, the federal government began creating national military cemeteries for the Union war dead.

The first widely publicized observance of a Memorial Day-type observance after the Civil War was in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 1, 1865. During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Hampton Park Race Course in Charleston; at least 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves. Together with teachers and missionaries, black residents of Charleston organized a May Day ceremony in 1865, which was covered by theNew York Tribune and other national papers. The freedmen cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled “Martyrs of the Race Course”. Nearly 10,000 people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the war dead. Involved were about 3,000 school children, newly enrolled in freedmen’s schools, as well as mutual aid societies, Union troops, black ministers and white northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to lay on the burial field.

David W. Blight described the day:

This was the first Memorial Day. African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina. What you have there is black Americans recently freed from slavery announcing to the world with their flowers, their feet, and their songs what the war had been about. What they basically were creating was the Independence Day of a Second American Revolution.

However, Blight stated he “has no evidence” that this event in Charleston inspired the establishment of Memorial Day across the country.

On May 26, 1966, President Johnson signed a presidential proclamation naming Waterloo, New York as the birthplace of Memorial Day. Earlier, the 89th Congress had adopted House Concurrent Resolution 587, which officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of observing Memorial Day began one hundred years prior in Waterloo, New York. Other communities claiming to be the birthplace of Memorial Day include Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, Carbondale, Illinois, Columbus, Georgia, andColumbus, Mississippi. A recent study investigating the Waterloo claim as well as dozens of other origination theories concludes that nearly all of them are apocryphal legends.

Thank You to WIKIPEDIA


Memorial Day Beginnings

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– WABAC to The Old South