Posts Tagged ‘tribute’

Class, aplomb, style and panache are hard to find these days. Especially all of them together. But when those words are used in the same sentence, one man comes vividly to mind: Mr. Patrick Macnee, aka, Mr. John Steed.mrsteed

From my childhood, I vaguely recall The Avengers television series. I cannot recall what night of the week it came on, I only know it came on after my bedtime (I would swear it followed the Doris Day show but can find no evidence of that schedule). And, it being the sixties, my mother thought the series was too violent for me to watch at that age.

Compared to the violence currently dispatched on the evening news, The Avengers were no more threatening than Tribbles (from Star Trek notoriety) or a goose-down pillow.

I recently invested in The Avengers DVDs; the ones with Diana Rigg as Mrs. Peel, if you please.

After watching the series I must confess: there is something appealing about the quintessential English gentleman. Not in a sexual sense, at least not from my perspective. But there is something in the way Mr. Steed carries himself; the way his suit, Bowler hat and umbrella all match, as well as fit perfectly; his succinct British enunciation. All of that combined make me want to stand up, straighten my spine and salute something. English or American, it doesn’t matter as long as it’s worthy of the respect.

Mr. Macnee was quite capable of being the quintessential English gentleman. From what I understand he was as dapper and unflappable in his personal life as he was on screen. Or was he as dapper and unflappable on screen as he was in his personal life?

Either way, I’m certain women – English and American alike – swooned over Mr. Macnee. No, he didn’t have the rugged, chiseled handsomeness of Rock Hudson. He couldn’t sing a note, nor was he young and idealistic like any member of The Beatles.

But he had his appeal, all right.

I am also certain that young Englishmen at the time learned a great deal about being a gentleman from the inimitable Mr. Macnee.

The time period of Patrick Mcnee was a simpler time. A man was as good as his word; a handshake could seal a deal; manners, respect, trust and truth: all of these values were valued during that time.

In these times, it seems those values have gone the way of the dodo bird. Yet these are the times those values are most needed.

Most of The Avengers episodes with Diana Rigg began with an announcement from Mr. Steed: “Mrs. Peel – We’re Needed” was found, at times, in the oddest of places.

On June 25, 2015, it was decided by a power of higher convention that Mr. Daniel Patrick Macnee should receive the announcement: “Mr. Macnee – You’re Needed.”

I am certain he was greeted with the same class, aplomb, style and panache that he carried with him.

Sir, you will be remembered.

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and ebook formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, can be found here: http://bit.ly/1rsEQFX Follow her on Twitter @penspen or follow her blog www.mytuppence.weebly.com Contact her at mytuppenceblog at yahoo.com to inquire about proofreading, editing and formatting services.


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December 6, 2006: Major Megan Leilani McClung, USMC, was the first female United States Marine Corps officer killed in mcclung (2)the Iraq War. She was also the first female graduate of the United States Naval Academy killed in action since the founding of the school in 1845.

She worked as a Public Affairs Officer in Al-Anbar Province, Iraq. Public Affairs is a vital supporting role of the military, especially the Marines. In addition to being tasked with providing information about the Marine Corps to the media, a PAO fulfills numerous requests for aircraft, military bands, speakers and the like. They write articles, publish base newspapers and manage websites. They are instrumental in communications and the exchange of information.

It may sound like an easy job. But surely it can’t be easy in a war-torn area such as Iraq.

From what I’ve read about Major McClung, she was up to the task.

From an early age, Megan McClung had chutzpah. When she was denied entry into the boy’s weightlifting program in school, she went to the school board and won. When some Marines returned from field missions in Iraq were denied entry into the mess hall until they’d showered, McClung made sure they first got fed.

Major McClung must have inherited the desire to serve. Both her maternal and paternal grandfathers served as did her father. It was only natural she would attend the United States Naval Academy, graduating in 1995 and receiving her officer’s commission.

On the day of her death, Major McClung was supposed to be escorting Oliver North. She switched with a gunnery sergeant to accompany the Newsweek crew instead. Her Humvee was following the Newsweek crew when an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) destroyed the Humvee, killing McClung and two other occupants.

A very good article about Major McClung can be found on the Military Times website: http://bit.ly/1u5cNNg

Tributes to Major McClung abound on the Internet. She was respected and liked by her fellow Marines and loved by family and friends. Her family periodically updates her Facebook page, honoring her spirit and her life. One particularly moving tribute on FB: http://on.fb.me/1zz00Hi

Megan McClung collected inspiring quotes from the age of nine. One in particular is a quote everyone should live by: To do anything but your best is to waste the gift.

Her mantra, Be bold, be brief, be gone, is engraved upon her headstone in Arlington National Cemetary.

Major McClung is not the only woman killed in the line of duty. Women served during the American Revolution as cooks and nurses; some disguised themselves as men to fight in combat. As early as 1918, women enlisted in the Marine Corps, though they were limited to clerical duties. Women’s roles in the military have expanded greatly since that time, limited only by the exception of offensive combat. Thousands of women have given their lives serving in the United States military.

I have a deep-seated respect for anyone willing to put their lives on the line for what s/he believes in. I may not support war in general, but I support those strong enough and brave enough to defend.

I did not know Major McClung personally. I wish I could have known her. She was bold. But her time here was all too brief.

Women Marines Association


Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle is a fictitious account of an EMP attack. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website at http://bit.ly/1yYsNH2 Follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info

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August 31, 1997, Princess Diana stood before the gates of Heaven. As she marveled at those gates made of pearls and laced with intricate gold and silver filigree, the gates opened and Saint Peter appeared.

“Welcome, Princess Diana,” he said, taking Princess Diana’s hand warmly into his own. “You are right on schedule. I hope you don’t mind waiting for a moment. Someone else will join us shortly and the Lord wishes to see both of you at the same time.”

Princess Diana and Saint Peter did not have long to wait. September 5, 1997, Mother Teresa joined them. Before either Mother Teresa or Saint Peter could speak, Princess Diana gasped and placed her hand over her heart. “Mother Teresa,” she said. “It is an honor to enter these gates with you.”

Mother Teresa faced Princess Diana and she smiled. “Princess,” Mother Teresa said. “What an honor for me to enter these gates with you.”

Saint Peter smiled, pleased that the two women respected each other. “Come,” he said. “Our Lord awaits our presence.” Saint Peter waved his hand and the gates of Heaven opened. Spilling forth from them was a light of the purest white. It gleamed and sparkled on the white pearls and the silver and gold of the gates. Saint Peter led Princess Diana and Mother Teresa through the gates.

The street upon which they traveled was paved with gold. The surroundings resembled their earthly home, but Princess Diana and Mother Teresa knew this was like no place on earth. The sky was of the most azure blue; eagles flew freely from snow-capped mountains; crystal clear streams trickled melodically down mountainsides. Tame animals of every kind and description roamed freely through meadows of green and forests of gold and red hue: there was no fear of being hunted here. The melodies of millions of birds wafted through the pure sweet-scented air as eagle, hawk and sparrow alike shared the azure sky. In the white light, everything — mountains, streams, sky, deer, squirrel, the street of gold — everything sparkled like gemstones. Mountains of emerald green surrounded them. On every mountaintop there stood a mansion of elaborate beauty: marble columns and graceful architecture, hundreds of rooms within each one. From within those mansions came the sounds of laughter and music, of souls in celebration of eternal bliss. Angels and eagles, unicorns and pegasus all took flight above each mansion, their flights of fancy fantastical and dream-like to the eyes of the travelers.

No one spoke as they went along their journey. Even Saint Peter, a veteran of this journey, was awestruck with the beauty he witnessed each time he travelled the pathway. Mother Teresa and Princess Diana were dazzled and breathless.

Their destination was a mountaintop, higher than the others, from whence the pure white light emanated. A joyful noise greeted them as they approached the mountain. A joyful noise it was as they ascended the mountain, greeted with chorus upon chorus of angels singing “Alleluias” in perfect harmony. As they reached the top of the mountain, the light poured over them, around them, through them. For one moment, they were blinded by a feeling of enormous joy; tears of pure love and adulation fell from their eyes, streamed down their faces. They knelt before the throne of their Lord.

“My children,” spoke a tender voice. “You know not how long I have awaited your return. Have you any questions?”

Mother Teresa looked up into the face of the Almighty. It was unlike any face she had ever seen. It was filled with love and understanding, tenderness and compassion. And there was something she longed to ask. “My Lord,” she said. “Why did you take both of us when there was so much work to be done? Why did you call us home while we are still in the prime of our lives?”

The Lord smiled. And when He smiled, the light seemed to shine brighter and the singing of the angels seemed to be even more heavenly than before. Princess Diana and Mother Teresa returned the smile, knowing that their own could not compare.

“Every life which I send to earth has a purpose and a meaning. I give each life its own individual circumstances. It is then up to this life to make the best possible from those circumstances and try and fulfill the purpose intended for it in the world. There are times when the purpose and meaning of more than one life is intertwined with another. And it was so with the lives of you and Diana.”

Diana looked up into the face of her Lord. “Diana, you were born to live among the privileged and I had my reasons for sending you thus. You were considered nobility on earth, but you used your position in the world to help and comfort others in need.

“Teresa, born into poverty, you spent your life being a stronghold and a strong heart to those less fortunate. Through your deeds and your acts, you spent your lives serving Me and exceeding even My expectations of you. The work begun by both of you remains unfinished so that those who wish to do so may continue in your footsteps. Your lives will not soon be forgotten. The impressions you both have left are indelible; the examples you have set are the achievements I long for all My children to strive for. It is the kindness, benevolence and generosity that you gave to the world that I wish for My children to emulate.

“There is a reason that I patterned your lives as I did and a reason that I brought you home together. You are both shining examples that, regardless of gender, age, nationality, class or race, each person can do something to help another. Each and every one of My children is capable of leaving the world a better place than when they entered it. This is the legacy which I wished for you to leave behind. You have fulfilled your purposes very well, My children.”

The Lord then turned to Diana, who was looking up at Him, her eyes misty with tears. “Is there something you wish to ask, Diana?”

“It may seem selfish, My Lord, but what will become of my children?”

Again the Lord smiled. “The least selfish thing known to Heaven and Earth, Diana, is a mother’s love for her children. Do not fear for them, Diana, for I am with them. I am with them now as they mourn. I will be with your children in every step they take and I will carry them when they feel they cannot carry on. Rejoice! Diana, for your sons are in My care.”

With that, the Lord raised his hand and Princess Diana and Mother Teresa were endowed with wings to fly and they were bathed in white light. “Now you shall both take your rightful places in the Heavens as Guardian Angels to watch over those left behind.”

Princess Diana July 1, 1961 — August 31, 1997

Mother Teresa August 26, 1910 — September 5, 1997

Alive forever in our memories Loved forever in our hearts

© Pen 1997

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