America says goodbye to a friend
July 29, 2003
This week America lost an important connection to its past with the death of legendary entertainer Bob Hope.
Truly the standard bearer of American comedy, Hope will be remembered for his big heart, intelligence and wit, and his gift for showing us bright spots during the darkest times.
With more than 50 movies to his credit, Hope was a silver screen – as well as TV, radio and newspaper – icon during the “golden age,” but American servicemen and women will most remember him for his wartime appearances.
Like a proud father, he cheered on our soldiers and brought them home, if only for a short while, during live shows in hostile overseas venues during World War II up until Desert Storm. Even amidst controversy during the Vietnam War, he never shied away from this role.
Unassumingly, Hope showed our soldiers that America respects a soldier’s sacrifice, even if they don’t agree with the war.
He was blue collar, just like the men and women who risked and sometimes lost their lives for our country. And he might as well have been one of them.
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Bob Hope’s mark on the military was indelible. If ever there was a military institution, he was it. Sadly, there will never be another Bob Hope to lighten the load on our soldiers’ shoulders. And there will most certainly never be another icon of his stature in any of our lifetimes.
Bob Hope was the quintessential public figure of his time, transcending politics, religion, color and class. His was a life well lived, a life that deserves a salute.