Tag Archives: Chuck Yeager

This is Hollyweird: New Neil Armstrong movie omits planting of US flag

Attempting to re-write history.

Chuck Yeager does not agree with this progressive take on Armstrong.

From Yahoo: The new Neil Armstrong biopic has not yet debuted in American theaters, but it’s already causing controversy.

First Man,” starring Ryan Gosling, has been called out by critics who noticed during a screening at the Venice Film Festival Wednesday that the film fails to portray the iconic moment when Armstrong and fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin planted the American flag on the moon.

The flag-raising was meticulously planned by NASA because there’s no wind on the moon and a rod was inserted to create the illusion that the flag was fluttering.

Planting the American flag on the moon was controversial back in 1969, as no nation is permitted to claim territory in outer space. There was talk of a United Nations flag being used instead, but it was ultimately decided to use the stars and stripes to serve as a proud symbol of American achievement.

Gosling was later asked why the flag wasn’t shown in the movie during a press conference that followed the screening.

“This was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement and that’s how we chose to view it,” he said. “I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”

Gosling added that he believed Armstrong was extremely modest, considering his achievement.

“I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible,” he said.

According to Business Insider, Gosling also said: “The magic moment the American flag was posted was intentionally omitted from the big screen because Armstrong’s achievement “transcended countries and borders.”

Another Hollyweird movie I won’t be seeing.


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Shifty, An American Hero

An e-mail of this true-life story has been making its rounds on the net, but there are three mistakes in the e-mail:

  1. Retired Major General Chuck Yeager didn’t write it, neither did baseball great Roberto Clemente.
  2. The original account of this was written by Mark Pfeifer, a no-name non-celebrity who was working at Dow Jones at the time when he
    encountered ”Shifty” in the Philadelphia Airport. (Why are these e-mails phonied up by attributing the source to fictitious famous people, as if only in so doing can the story acquire credibility?)
  3. “Shifty” died not in January 2011, but on June 17, 2009.

Other than those mistakes, the rest is all true!
H/t my Godbrother, Don.

A True American Hero

Darrell “Shifty” Powers volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you’ve seen “Band of Brothers” on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

I met Shifty in the  Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn’t know who he was at the time.  I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the “Screaming Eagle,” the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he’d been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving.  He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said “Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945.” My heart skipped….
Again, very humbly, he said “I made the five training jumps and then jumped into  Normandy. Do you know where Normandy is?”

At this point my heart stopped. I told him “yes, I know exactly where  Normandy is, and I know what D-Day was.”
He said, “I also made a second jump into Holland, into Arnhem.”

I was standing with a genuine war hero…and then I realized that it was June,  just after the anniversary of D-Day.

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France. He said, “Yes. But it’s real sad because, these days so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can’t make the trip.”
My heart was in my throat and I didn’t know what to say. I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in coach while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats.
When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I’d take his in coach. He said “No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and who still care is enough to make an old man very happy.” His eyes were filling up as he said it.
And mine are brimming up now as I write this.
Shifty died quietly on June 17, 2009 at age 86 from cancer.
There was no parade.
No big event in Staples Center.
No wall-to-wall, back-to-back 24-7 news coverage.
No weeping fans on television.
And that’s not right!
Let’s give Shifty his own memorial service, online, in our own quiet way.
Rest in peace, Shifty.
-Mark Pfeiffer

“SHIFTY” – an incredible American hero – died June 17, 2009.

May God rest his soul.
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