I received this and it really hit hard....think about it....
Our Nation's Priorities.
On 18 February 2001, while racing for fame and fortune, Dale Earnhardt
died in the last lap of the Daytona 500. It was surely a tragedy for his
family, friends and fans. He was 49 years old with grown children, one, who
was in the race. I am new to the NASCAR culture so much of what I know has
come from the newspaper and TV. He was a winner and earned everything he
This included more than "$41 million in winnings and ten times that from
endorsements and souvenir sales". He had a beautiful home and a private
jet. He drove the most sophisticated cars allowed and every part was
inspected and replaced as soon as there was any evidence of wear. This is
normally fully funded by the car and team sponsors.
Today, there is no TV station that does not constantly remind us of his
tragic end and the radio already has a song of tribute to this winning
driver. Nothing should be taken away from this man, he was a professional
and the best in his profession. He was in a very dangerous business but the
rewards were great.
Two weeks ago seven U.S. Army soldiers died in a training accident when two
UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters collided during night maneuvers in Hawaii. The
soldiers were all in their twenties, pilots, crewchiefs and infantrymen.
Most of them lived in sub-standard housing. If you add their actual duty
hours (in the field, deployed) they probably earn something close to minimum
wage. The aircraft they were in were between 15 and 20 years old. Many
times parts were not available to keep them in good shape due to funding.
They were involved in the extremely dangerous business of flying in the
Kuhuku mountains at night. It only gets worse when the weather moves in as
it did that night. Most times no one is there with a yellow or red flag to
slow things down when it gets critical. Their children were mostly toddlers
who will lose all memory of who "Daddy" was as they grow up. They died
training to defend our freedom.
I take nothing away from Dale Earnhardt but ask you to perform this simple
test. Ask any of your friends if they know who was the NASCAR driver killed
on 18 February 2001. Then ask them if they can name one of the seven
soldiers who died in Hawaii two weeks ago.
18 February 2001, Dale Earnhardt died driving for fame and glory at the
Daytona 500. The nation mourns. Seven soldiers died training to protect our
freedom. No one can remember their names and most don't even remember the
As a nation, do we have our priorities straight?