My opening comments today are not concerning Key West. Though Key West can lay claim to similar values. Like love, conscience and humanity.
It is the story of 2,600 orphaned Vietnamese children. Many babies.
On this day in 1975, ten days of airlifting children out of Vietnam concluded. Allied forces had been defeated. It would be only 16 days later that Saigon would fall effectively ending the war.
It was imperative orphaned children be removed from the country before opposing forces took over. Some of the children Asian-American.
The decision to airlift the children out of the war zone and to safe countries was immediate. No time to think. A yes or no situation. Once made, everyone worked swiftly and diligently to accomplish the removals.
President Ford was in support of the project 100 percent. Thirty flights were planned. Other allied nations in addition to the U.S. were involved. Though the planes and crews were exclusively American.
The children were ultimately adopted in the countries which were their final stop.
A picture is worth one thousand words. No question. Search out Operation Baby Lift on the internet. The photos immediately make you appreciate the effort involved and what was going on.
Photos many. Babies strapped into boxes on row after row of airplane seats. Rows eight across. Other pics of soldiers holding babies and bottle feeding them. Children sleeping on the floor of large planes that had no seats. Close together.
I raise the question. Could such an emergency evacuation take place today? With all the furor over immigration, etc. Remember , there was no time to think. Action had to be immediate.
My day yesterday began with an airport run. I played good neighbor.
My lunch was unusual. I returned to Mangrove Mama’s. I was one of two customers. The weather perfect. I sat where I had in my previous visits. The wind direction perfect. It blew over me.
A lobster reuben again.
Then I sat there for a couple of hours. I fell into deep thinking. Meditation.
Last night’s first stop was the outside Aqua bar. Mark Watson. All locals. More people than during the season.
Mark is an avid North Carolina fan. We talked about the Syracuse and Villanova games. Mark knows his basketball.
Had to eat. Did not want much. Ended up at La Te Da’s outside bar. Tonto bartending. My friend of 20 years.
I enjoyed a crab dip and a few crackers.
Such was my yesterday.
Enjoy your today!