Posts Tagged ‘Eisenhower’

Shocking and inspiring: the story of the Little Rock Nine and the integration of Central High School

December 11, 2011

 

The story of fifteen-year-old Elizabeth Eckford and eight other African-American teenagers still takes my breath away, even though I lived through it on live television. I relearned the story last week on a visit to Little Rock, Arkansas, Central High School, the site in 1957 of ugly, beautiful and inspiring events that changed America.

Returning to Los Angeles I discovered that my friends of baby boomer and subsequent generations knew nothing about what happened outside Central High School on September 4, 1957. Like the story of the Israelites flight from Egypt and the story of the first Thanksgiving, the Central High School story merits retelling every year.

After the US Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that segregated schools violated the Constitution, the Little Rock School Board developed a plan to gradually integrate city schools, starting by admitting nine African-American students to prestigious—and white only—Central High School. On the eve of the first day of school, September 3, 1957, Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus ordered troops of the Arkansas National Guard to Little Rock to prevent the nine children from entering the school.

Elizabeth Eckford was one of the nine. She took a bus that dropped her a block from the school, and from there walked with unimaginable grace and courage (Will Counts’s photo above) through a mob of screaming, spitting adults. She tried to enter the campus (more…)

Duty, Honor, Country calls, Petraeus answers

June 24, 2010

General David Petraeus had it made. For the past twenty months he has led United States Central Command, with responsibility for actual and potential military operations from Egypt to Pakistan. He has lived the luxurious life of a four-star general at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa—one of the most prestigious, glamorous, and comfortable assignments the U.S. military has to offer. After spending most of the last ten years separated from his family on assignments on Bosnia and Iraq—the last two as commander of the multi-national force there—he was on the verge of retirement, praised as America’s greatest general, perhaps the greatest since the glory days of MacArthur, Patton, and Eisenhower.

Then General Stanley McChrystal invited a reporter from Rolling Stone magazine to live with his command in Afghanistan for weeks, where the reporter chronicled for the world the contempt that McChrystal and his senior staff had for the President and his national security team. Obama fired McChrystal and asked Petraeus to take a demotion, going from McChrystal’s boss to his replacement. And going from palatial four-star housing with his wife in Tampa to battlefield accommodations in Afghanistan.

Petraeus said yes sir, once again answering his country’s call. His coming service as commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan may enhance or may diminish his reputation as a great general. There’s no doubt, however, that it will remind America of the meaning of the West Point ethic: Duty, Honor, Country.

Read The Ethics Challenge: Strengthening Your Integrity in a Greedy World

var sc_project=6152467;

var sc_invisible=1;

var sc_security=”2276aa67″;

counter for tumblr


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers