Last week, one of those on the top shelf passed.
Jeremiah Denton, the Vietnam War POW who has died at age 89, uttered one of the great statements of defiance in American history.The next point is why many in uniform, rightly, don't take well to any representative of our nation bowing to anyone.
In 1965, he was shot down in his A-6 during a bombing run over North Vietnam. He became a captive for more than seven years and endured an unimaginable regime of torture, humiliation, and isolation, managing to retain his dignity and spirit even as his captors went to hideous lengths to snuff them out.
Soon after his capture, a young North Vietnamese solider signaled to him to bow down and, when he refused, pressed a gun to his head so hard it created a welt. Denton quickly learned that this would be mild treatment. He was taken to Hoa Lo Prison, or the Hanoi Hilton, where he led the resistance to the North Vietnamese efforts to extract propaganda confessions from their prisoners.Take time to read all of Rich Lowry's tribute.
As Denton related in his book, When Hell Was in Session, they tried to starve one out of him.
For a man who had many highlights in life - this is the one that I think is the most powerful and sublime.