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Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. He wasn’t famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for filling Chicago with everything evil. How did he keep himself out of jail? That is where his lawyer came into play. Big Al’s lawyer was nicknamed “Easy Eddie.” He was excellent at keeping his boss out of jail and Al Capone paid him well. Eddie lived the high life and cared little for what happened around him. He only soft spot was his son. He gave his son everything. He tried to teach him right from wrong.

He wanted his son to better than him. Yet, with all his wealth and influence there was two things he could not pass on to his son: a good name and a good example. One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. He wanted to rectify wrongs. He decided he would tell the truth about Al “Scareface” Capone, clean up his tarnished name and offer his son a semblance of integrity. To testify against the Mob would cost him a great price, but he testified.

Within a year Easy Eddie’s life ended in a blaze of gunfire. In his eyes he gave his son the greatest gift he had to offer and it cost him his life.

World War II produced many heroes. One such was Commander Butch O’Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific. One day his entire squadron was sent out on a mission. After being airborne, Butch saw that his fuel gauge was low and knew someone had forgotten to top it off. He would not have enough fuel to complete the mission, and was commanded to return, but on his way back he saw a squadron of Japanese headed for the Americans.

The fighters were gone and the fleet was all but defenseless. He couldn’t get help in time. He had to divert the enemy from the American fleet. He dove into the formation of Japanese planes. Wing-mounted 50 calibers blazed as he charged in. he fired until he was empty and the began clipping wings with his own plane. The Japanese took off in a different direction and Butch O’Hare limped back to his carrier. Upon arrival he reported in and film from the gun camera showed the story. He had destroyed five enemy aircraft. This took place on Feb. 20, 1942 and for that action Butch became the first Naval Ace of WW II, and was awarded a congressional medal of honor. A year latter at age 29, Butch was killed in action. His home town would not allow his memory to fade, and today, O’Hare Airport in Chicago is named in his tribute.

And by the way, Butch O’Hare was the son of Easy Eddie. I just thought you ought to know the influence of a father.

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