December 27, 2010

One Helluva War Story

We had really expected to blog today about Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster's whining and, frankly, humiliating interview about the departure of his economic development czar, Peter Kay. We found lines like this one to be hysterical:

Dyster praised Kay’s dedication. “It’s very gracious of him to continue working through this week,” the mayor said. “He’s trying hard to make sure the transition moves smoothly.”

But it’s a transition to—what? Dyster said he met with City Administrator Donna D. Owens and other municipal officials to discuss who could take over the city’s Office of Economic Development and under what circumstances. He said they have yet to come up with an answer.

Ah, yes, Kay is collecting the final days of his bloated, six-figure salary out of "graciousness."

Still, we honestly were more drawn to another article in the Buffalo News, and think that many of you will find it a much more fascinating study in will power than the ministrations of Dyster, Owens & Co.

A story of World War II bravery, it reads like a Hollywood script, like something out of U-571:

Ditcher’s most memorable honor, which earned him the Bronze Star, took place on dry land in Japan.

As the war was coming to end and most of the enemy’s ships had been sunk or docked in port, the number of targets had been drastically reduced.

“There really weren’t many targets, so the skipper decided to blow up a train. We’d been in an area off Japan for several days, and every night we saw a train go by. The skipper sent six of us out on a raft with machine guns and explosives.

“We left the submarine at midnight July 22, 1945, and we were on the raft maybe 10 or 15 minutes before we made land. We felt edgy because as we went through people’s backyards to get to the train trestle, dogs started barking. That was the last thing we expected.

“When we got to the edge of the trestle, a couple of the guys dug under the tracks and set the explosives, so that when the train came by, it would push the rail down and ignite. The rest us served as lookouts...”

Which kind of puts Dyster's travails in perspective, doesn't it?

No comments: