Chicago's O'Hare Airport was named after Butch O'Hare, here are two true stories...
Many years ago, Al Capone virtually owned Chicago. Capone wasn't famous for anything heroic. He was notorious for enmeshing the windy city in everything from bootlegged booze and prostitution to murder.
Capone had a lawyer nicknamed "Easy Eddie". He was his lawyer for a good reason - Eddie was very good! In fact, Eddie's skill at legal manoeuvring kept Big Al out of jail for a long time.
To show his appreciation, Capone paid him very well. Not only was the money big, but also, Eddie got special dividends. For instance, he and his family occupied a fenced-in mansion with live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day. The estate was so large that it filled an entire Chicago City block.
Eddie lived the high life of the Chicago mob and gave little consideration to the atrocity that went on around him. Eddie did have one soft spot, however. He had a son that he loved dearly.
Eddie saw to it that his young son had clothes, cars, and a good education. Nothing was withheld. Price was no object. And, despite his involvement with organized crime, Eddie even tried to teach him right from wrong. Eddie wanted his son to be a better man than he was.
Yet, with all his wealth and influence, there were two things he couldn't give his son - he couldn't pass on a good name or a good example.
One day, Easy Eddie reached a difficult decision. Easy Eddie wanted to rectify wrongs he had done. He decided he would go to the authorities and tell the truth about Al "Scarface" Capone, clean up his tarnished name, and offer his son some semblance of integrity.
To do this, he would have to testify against The Mob, and he knew that the cost would be great.
So... he testified.
Within the year Easy Eddie's life ended in a blaze of gunfire on a lonely Chicago Street. But, in his eyes, he had given his son the greatest gift he had to offer, at the greatest price he could ever pay.
Police removed from his pockets a rosary, crucifix, religious medallion and a poem clipped from a magazine. The poem read:
The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power
To tell just when the hands will stop
At late or early hour.
Now is the only time you own.
Live, love, toil with a will.
Place no faith in time.
For the clock may soon be still.
World War II produced many heroes. One such man was Lieutenant Commander Butch O'Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to the aircraft carrier Lexington in the South Pacific.
Wikipedia tells of the early life of Edward O'Hare.
Butch became the Navy's first Ace of WWII, and the first Naval Aviator to win the Congressional Medal of Honor.
A year later Butch was killed in aerial combat at the age of 29.
His home town would not allow the memory of this WW II hero to fade, and today, O'Hare Airport in Chicago is named in tribute to the courage of this great man.
So, the next time you find yourself at O'Hare International give some thought to visiting Butch's memorial displaying his statue and his Medal of Honor. It's located between Terminals 1 and 2.
What do these two stories have to do with each other?
Butch O'Hare was Easy Eddie's son.