Two men with very different stories
I want to tell you a couple of stories about two men. Butch O’Hare was from Chicago. He was a Navy pilot during World War II. In the Pacific his squadron had taken off from its carrier on a mission. A few minutes away from the carrier, he realized his plane had not been serviced. His fuel was too low to make it to the target. Radioing his squadron leader, he turned back.

On his way, he spot ted 50 Japanese bombers f lying straight for the American fleet. Nobody knew they were coming. The American fleet would be devastated. All the planes had been sent off. Butch O’Hare remembered his father who had chosen God and honor first over all. He whispered a quick prayer and then dived toward the 50 Japanese bombers.

When his machine guns ran out of ammunition, he began suicide dives disabling as many planes as he could. He disorganized the entire Japanese flight, until the other American planes he had radioed turned and came back to help.

Later, he learned that he had shot down five Japanese bombers and heavily damaged any number of others. He was the first Navy aviator ever to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

When you fly into Chicago today, you land at O’Hare Airport, named after the young man who that day saved thousands and thousands of American sailors.

Easy Eddie was also from Chicago. He was part of Al Capone’s mob. The law yer who kept the mob out of jail, he never got his hands dirty. Ever ybody thought well of Easy Eddie. Even after Al Capone went to jail, the mob kept going because Easy Eddie kept it going.

One night a friend gave him a Bible. Putting his feet up, he read. Before long he realized that he was going to hell and that everything he was living for was the work of Satan.

That night he gave his heart to Christ. The next morning he walked into the FBI headquarters and turned states evidence. It brought down the mob.

Within a year, Easy Eddie was gunned down in the streets.

What do these two stories have in common? Easy Eddie’s last name was O’Hare. He was Butch O’Hare’s father.

Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple where he was senior minister for 23 years.

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2010-08-12 digital edition

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