Hollywood Heroes

IWVPA Webmaster’s Editorial:

Actors of yesteryear loved their respective countries. They had both class and integrity. With the advent of World War Two, many actors went to fight rather than stand and rant against this country we all love. They gave up their wealth, position and fame to become service men and women, many as simple “enlisted men”. This page lists but a few, but from this group of Americans, came over 70 medals in honour of their valour, spanning from Bronze Stars, Silver Stars, Distinguish Service Cross’, Purple Hearts and one Congressional Medal of Honor.

It may very well be that some, or even all of these heroes would not have supported America’s policy or involvement in subsequent wars, including Vietnam and Iraq but I would like to remind the people of what some of the entertainers of the past were doing as long ago as 60 years.

Prompted (with my sincere gratitude) by an email to me by Walker T. Ryan, the son of actor Robert Ryan, I have revised the emphasis and reason for this section of the IWVPA website.

Mr Ryan wrote (in part): “If you know anything about my father, you would certainly be aware that not only did he oppose the Vietnam War, but, he would certainly have opposed this invasion of Iraq and would no doubt be one of the actors using his ‘public persona’ to attack, not the soldiers, but the politicians who put those soldiers in harms way. Come to think of it, you may not want him on your list, him being a liberal and all.”

The fact that he and the others on the list are among the countless millions who answered their respective country’s call in a time of need, either in the uniform or behind the scenes is sufficient to have them included.

These people fought for Freedom and have therefore earned the right to criticize the policies of their government. I ask if those who are now criticizing their current government’s policies on the War against Terror even voted in the 2000 Presidential Elections. Have they fought and offered their lives in the quest to maintain the Freedoms that are held so dearly in a democratic and free society including the freedom (and right) to speak their minds or to remain silent; to vote or not vote?

Lastly, the ‘Entertainers of 2003’ have been featured in all of the news media because it seems Newspapers, Television and Radio has been more than ready to put them and their anti-American message before the public. The media (with few exceptions) overtly run negative press about the Coalition’s involvement in Iraq while seeming to ignoring the work of the coalition in Afghanistan.

How is it possible for the average citizen to make a valued and informed decision about the pro’s and con’s of current policy if those responsible for providing that information report with a biased and, more than often, negative view? Do they (the media) assume to “know-it-all” and thus have the right to dictate and direct the thoughts of those to whom they are accountable – the people.

Anthony W. Pahl
IWVPA Webmaster
July 9, 2004