Sir Nicholas Winton who organised the rescue and passage to Britain of about 669 mostly Jewish Czechoslovakian children destined for the Nazi death camps before World War II in an operation known as the Czech Kindertransport. This video is the BBC Programme "That's Life" aired in 1988.
Most Americans know what happened in Mogadishu, Somalia, during America's first battle against al Qaeda 20 years ago thanks to the Oscar-winning film, "Black Hawk Down." Now for the first time, they can see how the actual battle unfolded in footage obtained by 60 Minutes. Lara Logan's report, containing the images and combat veterans' eyewitness accounts of the battle, also follows the secret, 7-month effort of a retired soldier and his wife to repatriate the helicopter's wreckage. This remarkable 60 Minutes story will be broadcast almost 20 years to the day of the battle Sunday, Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT.
The footage that will bring viewers back to the start of the mission, the battle and the downing of "Super 61," the call sign of the doomed helicopter, is military surveillance footage shot of the mission. It captures the scenes on Oct. 3, 1993, in Mogadishu that inspired the film.
A mission that day to capture top lieutenants of a Somali warlord was going fairly well until Super 61
took a rocket-propelled grenade -- a lucky shot that somehow found its fast-moving target. "It took a direct hit to the tail boom and started a slow rotation," says Norm Hooten, a Special Operations team leader that day who has never spoken publicly about the incident until now. "It was a catastrophic impact. That's the only way I can describe it," Hooten tells Logan.
Hooten and two other veterans who were there that day then tell Logan their harrowing experiences in the battle to retrieve the bodies and survivors of the crash in an hours-long ordeal recreated in the film. Nineteen died in the battle.
There's more, including heroic attempts by a couple to recover and bring back home as much of the wrecked Blackhawk helicopter as they could.
That's not much of a prayer, I suppose, but it's what I said to God five years ago as I sat in a pew at
St. Agnes of Bohemia Catholic Church in Little Village and watched the Rev. Matt Foley sworn in to the U.S. Army.
Father Matt — Padre Mateo, as they called him in the neighborhood — had been the heart and soul of that predominantly Latino community for eight years. He had buried nearly 30 members of the warring Latin Kings and Two-Six street gangs, and now he was heading to war, drawn to be an Army chaplain.
He read a Gospel passage at his swearing-in: "When you were young, you walked where you wanted to walk. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will carry you where you do not want to go."
You're not old, Father, I thought. You're only 45. Can't you stick around?
"I'll be a vessel that God's going to use," he told me.
And he was gone. First to chaplain training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina, then to join the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. He had to learn to jump out of planes (talk about getting closer to God), then finally got what he wanted: a deployment to Afghanistan in April 2009.
It starts to blur from there. Four deployments. Visits to more than 60 spots across that war-torn country. And now, I'm happy to report, a safe return to the Chicago area and a new parish to head up, St. James Catholic Church in Arlington Heights.
I met Foley in his new parish office on a sunny weekday, the only noise coming from cars zipping along Arlington Heights Road and the occasional squeals of children in the church school. It seemed a peaceful respite from a war zone, and his spirits were good, even as he recounted what he had witnessed.
"I'm able to preach about it and tell the stories," he said. "What happens with a lot of these soldiers is they go through traumatic events and then they don't get to process it. When I was in Little Village, I'd be at Mount Sinai (hospital) to see a teen who was shot. I'd talk about it the next Sunday, I wouldn't just bury it. That makes a big difference."
He spent time with special operations units and was in Afghanistan when Osama bin Laden was killed in neighboring Pakistan. He said any sense of celebration over bin Laden's death was muffled by a fear of retaliation.
His duties were many: visiting with soldiers each day; catering to the injured; celebrating a daily Catholic Mass; delivering news of a family member's death or illness to young men and women already homesick.
He described the deaths as "explosive," usually the result of mortars or improvised bombs. He would bless the bodies of the fallen and perform ramp ceremonies as caskets were lifted onto planes home.
"To see the soldiers carrying their comrades out, there are really no words, it's all gestures," Foley said. "You see them in full combat gear, carrying one of their own in a metal casket, flag-draped. This is not how we want to send our children home."
He described what he did there as "a ministry of presence."
"To sit in an MRAP (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle) and to be ambushed and to look across at the eyes of a 19- or 20-year-old soldier," Foley said, his voice trailing off. "I'm glad I'm there to say, 'We'll make it through this.' I'm glad I'm there for the parents who sent their sons and daughters over there."
He returned because the Archdiocese of Chicago needed him, though he says he would've stayed: "To be in the midst of that difficult time, it seemed the right thing to do. It's almost an obligation."
There's a toughness about Foley. He first gained notoriety in Chicago when someone broke into St. Agnes to steal from the donation box; the priest tackled the man and held him until the police showed up.
But that toughness belies an amazing capacity to absorb the pain of others. I've seen him march against violence, pray with families who've lost loved ones and shed tears at the unmarked grave of a 5-year-old immigrant girl whose body no parent ever claimed.
So, I wondered, what will he do in the decidedly calmer environment of Arlington Heights?
And that's when I noticed how five years away had changed him. I'd known him to have a wanderlust, a pressing need to seek out the next difficult challenge. But now he seems more content, as if he realized there's a need for compassion everywhere.
Go finish the piece and thank God for priests like Father Foley.
It is 110 yards from the "E" ring to the "A" ring of the Pentagon. This section of the Pentagon is newly
renovated; the floors shine, the hallway is broad, and the lighting is bright. At this instant the entire length of the corridor is packed with officers, a few sergeants and some civilians, all crammed tightly three and four deep against the walls. There are thousands here.
This hallway, more than any other, is the `Army' hallway. The G3 offices line one side, G2 the other, G8 is around the corner. All Army. Moderate conversations flow in a low buzz. Friends who may not have seen each other for a few weeks, or a few years, spot each other, cross the way and renew.
Everyone shifts to ensure an open path remains down the center. The air conditioning system was not designed for this press of bodies in this area.
The temperature is rising already. Nobody cares. "10:36 hours: The clapping starts at the E-Ring. That is the outermost of the five rings of the Pentagon and it is closest to the entrance to the building. This clapping is low, sustained, hearty. It is applause with a deep emotion behind it as it moves forward in a wave down the length of the hallway.
A steady rolling wave of sound it is, moving at the pace of the soldier in the wheelchair who marks the forward edge with his presence. He is the first. He is missing the greater part of one leg, and some of his wounds are still suppurating. By his age I expect that he is a private, or perhaps a private first class.
Captains, majors, lieutenant colonels and colonels meet his gaze and nod as they applaud, soldier to soldier. Three years ago when I described one of these events, those lining the hallways were somewhat different. The applause a little wilder, perhaps in private guilt for not having shared in the burden... yet.
Now almost everyone lining the hallway is, like the man in the wheelchair, also a combat veteran. This steadies the applause, but I think deepens the sentiment. We have all been there now. The soldier's chair is pushed by, I believe, a full colonel.
Behind him, and stretching the length from Rings E to A, come more of his peers, each private, corporal, or sergeant assisted as need be by a field grade officer.
11:00 hours: Twenty-four minutes of steady applause. My hands hurt, and I laugh to myself at how stupid that sounds in my own head. My hands hurt. Please! Shut up and clap. For twenty-four minutes, soldier after soldier has come down this hallway - 20, 25, 30. Fifty-three legs come with them, and perhaps only 52 hands or arms, but down this hall came 30 solid hearts.
They pass down this corridor of officers and applause, and then meet for a private lunch, at which they are the guests of honor, hosted by the generals. Some are wheeled along. Some insist upon getting out of their chairs, to march as best they can with their chin held up, down this hallway, through this most unique audience. Some are catching handshakes and smiling like a politician at a Fourth of July parade. More than a couple of them seem amazed and are smiling shyly.
There are families with them as well: the 18-year-old war-bride pushing her 19-year-old husband's wheelchair and not quite understanding why her husband is so affected by this, the boy she grew up with, now a man, who had never shed a tear is crying; the older immigrant Latino parents who have, perhaps more than their wounded mid-20s son, an appreciation for the emotion given on their son's behalf. No man in that hallway, walking or clapping, is ashamed by the silent tears on more than a few cheeks. An Airborne Ranger wipes his eyes only to better see. A couple of the officers in this crowd have themselves been a part of this parade in the past.
These are our men, broken in body they may be, but they are our brothers, and we welcome them home. This parade has gone on, once every month, all year long, for more than four years.
We owe them everything.
God bless 'em.
Pass this around... and be grateful for all who sacrifice for us.
Rescue workers want to thank a higher power for coming to the rescue early Sunday morning.
Emergency crews spent an hour and a half trying to extricate a 19-year-old Quincy woman trapped in her in crushed car on Missouri 19 near Center, Missouri.
The Missouri Highway Patrol says 26-year-old Aaron Smith crossed the center line, hitting Katie Lentz head-on.
Now, friends, family and those who rescued Lentz would love to find and thank a mysterious priest who they say helped make the rescue possible.
New London Fire Chief Raymond Reed said rescue crews spent the first 45 minutes after the accident trying to get Lentz out of a car to no avail Sunday morning shortly after 9 a.m. The metal on an older model Mercedes dulled the department's equipment.
"It was a very well-built car, and when you compact materials like that one, they become even stronger because you're cutting through multiple things instead of one layer," Reed said.
Reed says Lentz was pinned in between the steering wheel and the seat. After 45 minutes had passed, medical workers told rescue crews that Katie was failing and fast. That's when Reed made an executive decision to move the car, which was standing on its side, back on all four wheels.
About an hour into the rescue, Katie asked rescue workers to pray out loud with her. That's when a priest appeared out of no where.
"He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer," Reed said. "It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well. I can't be for certain how it was said, but myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle."
The Hannibal Fire Department showed up right after that prayer with fresh equipment and was able to finish the extrication. After getting Katie safely into the Air Evac helicopter, at least a dozen of the rescue workers turned around to thank the priest who was no where in sight. The highway had been blocked for a quarter of a mile during the hour and a half rescue, leaving no bystanders and no parked cars nearby. Lentz' family and friends are amazed by the story.
"Where did this guy come from?" Lentz' friend Travis Wiseman asked. "We're looking for the priest and so far, no one has seen him. Whether it was a priest as an angel or an actual angel, he was an angel to all those and to Katie."
"We would like to find this gentleman and be able to thank him," Reed said. "As a first responder, you don't know what you're going to run into. We have a lot of tools, and we have intensive training. In this particular case, it is my feeling that it was nothing more than sheer faith and nothing short of a miracle."
Boggs, a McCaskey freshman who lives in Gable Park Woods, had been hanging out with a friend at
nearby Lancaster Arms apartments and helping move a couch when a man came by asking if they'd seen a missing girl.
They hadn't, Boggs said, so they went to watch TV.
A short time later, his friend went outside and saw lots of police officers and people from the neighborhood looking for the girl.
Police said that the girl had been taken that afternoon from the 100 block of Jennings Drive.
Boggs and about six friends joined the search.
"We got all of our friends to go look for her. We made our own little search party," Boggs, 15, said Saturday, though he didn't know the girl or her family.
They walked through some nearby woods and along a creek where they were told the girl might have gone.
When Boggs and his friends returned to Lancaster Arms on Jennings Drive, they saw more police officers and TV news crews.
"The whole block was filled," he said.
That's when, Boggs said, "I had the gut feeling that I was going to find the little girl."
A friend asked Boggs to hold his bike. Boggs figured the bike would help him search for the girl.
So he and another friend, Chris Garcia, rode on area streets — Michelle Drive, St. Phillips Drive, Gable Park Road — looking for her.
That's when a maroon car caught his eye.
What this interview of the young man:
Hats off to this young man. May more be just like him.
Elmer Charles Bigelow had the courage of his convictions. The 25-year-old from Hebron, Illinois, enlisted in the US Navy at the beginning of WWII, and after training was assigned to the USS Fletcher, a destroyer that was part of the US Pacific fleet. During fighting in the Philippines, the Fletcher was hit by a shell that exploded in one of its powder magazines, starting a fire and the possibility of an explosion that could have destroyed the ship.
Without thinking of himself, Bigelow grabbed two fire extinguishers, entered the burning magazine and
put out the flames. He was severely injured by the acrid smoke and succumbed to his injuries the next day, on February 15, 1945. The US Navy awarded Bigelow the Medal of Honor for "conspicuous gallantry" and for "his heroic spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of almost certain death...."
Bigelow's actions give us insights into his convictions. He freely enlisted in the Navy, demonstrating his patriotic support for the American fight against Japanese tyranny. In doing so, he set aside his personal ambitions and became a small part of a greater whole, a lowly sailor on a great fighting ship, following orders and doing his part as a member of a team to support the war plans of his superiors.
And as a member of that team, Elmer Bigelow took on himself a personal responsibility for its wellbeing. When his fellow sailors were threatened, he sacrificed himself in an individual act of valor that probably saved the lives of hundreds of his shipmates.
Bigelow's actions speak volumes about his character, and about the values and principles that guided his life and led him to a moment of selfless, courageous action when that need presented itself.