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Mainstream Media Ignores the Death of a True American Hero – Yet Notices Celebrities with Fanfare

This is the story of one hero’s quiet passing. We share it with you to honor the memory of our War Heroes who never receive the recognition they rightly deserve. Today’s media seems to choose heroes based upon celebrity status, not virtue or sacrifice. We may not be able to change the course of American Media, but we can certainly do our part to celebrate our unsung heroes!

E-mail Calls For Memorial Service for World War II Hero Darrell “Shifty” Powers

The e-mail reads as follows:

“We’re hearing a lot today about big splashy memorial services.

I want a nationwide memorial service for Darrell “Shifty” Powers.

Shifty volunteered for the airborne in WWII and served with Easy Company of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Infantry. If you’ve seen Band of Brothers on HBO or the History Channel, you know Shifty. His character appears in all 10 episodes, and Shifty himself is interviewed in several of them.

I met Shifty in the Philadelphia airport several years ago. I didn’t know who he was at the time. I just saw an elderly gentleman having trouble reading his ticket. I offered to help, assured him that he was at the right gate, and noticed the “Screaming Eagle,” the symbol of the 101st Airborne, on his hat.

Making conversation, I asked him if he’d been in the 101st Airborne or if his son was serving. He said quietly that he had been in the 101st. I thanked him for his service, then asked him when he served, and how many jumps he made.

Quietly and humbly, he said “Well, I guess I signed up in 1941 or so, and was in until sometime in 1945 . . . ” at which point my heart skipped.

At that point, again, very humbly, he said “I made the 5 training jumps at Toccoa, and then jumped into Normandy . . . . do you know where Normandy is?” At this point my heart stopped.

I told him yes, I know exactly where Normandy was, and I know what D-Day was. At that point he said “I also made a second jump into Holland, into Arnhem.” I was standing with a genuine war hero . . . . and then I realized that it was June, just after the anniversary of D-Day.

I asked Shifty if he was on his way back from France, and he said “Yes. And it’s real sad because these days so few of the guys are left, and those that are, lots of them can’t make the trip.” My heart was in my throat and I didn’t know what to say.

I helped Shifty get onto the plane and then realized he was back in Coach, while I was in First Class. I sent the flight attendant back to get him and said that I wanted to switch seats. When Shifty came forward, I got up out of the seat and told him I wanted him to have it, that I’d take his in coach.

He said “No, son, you enjoy that seat. Just knowing that there are still some who remember what we did and still care is enough to make an old man very happy.” His eyes were filling up as he said it. And mine are brimming up now as I write this.

Shifty died on June 17 after fighting cancer.

There was no parade.

No big event in Staples Center.

No wall to wall back to back 24×7 news coverage.

No weeping fans on television.

And that’s not right.

Let’s give Shifty his own Memorial Service, online, in our own quiet way. Send this email to everyone you know. Especially to the veterans.

Rest in peace, Shifty.

“A nation without heroes is nothing.”

-Mark Pfeifer

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Comments (20)

  1. Mike Mathes says:

    I weep at the loss of our nations Heros.
    I fear the day that I will lose my father, also a WWII vet, when he joins his Brothers in arms on eternal patrol.

  2. Faunette says:

    Thank you for your service, God bless you and you family. You and your fellow servicemen are the real heroes of our nation.

  3. Robert says:

    Shifty Powers. One of many, many American heroes, who have never been given enough credit for their courage and commitment to their country’s ideals, in order to assure our freedom.

  4. Lowell Hettinger says:

    Shifty,
    You were one of the best. Your willingness to sacrifice your life for your country, your family and your friends is more noteworthy than any politician, sports figure or movie star. May you rest in peace.

  5. Sarah Decker says:

    Thank you so much, Shifty. You are definitely “one of the GOOD GUYS”. There are so few to be found today, and so very few remember your sacrifices. God bless you.

  6. Allen Shallbetter says:

    God bless and keep you, Shifty. Thank you for the sacrifices you made to keep us free.

  7. cs says:

    Thank you Shifty, for your sacrifice to keep us free. God bless you and give you peace!!!

  8. Carl says:

    Thank You,
    Brother, Father, Son, Husband and Friend

  9. John Beer says:

    Thanks Shifty for your service. You are a true hero and a representative of the greatest generation. We will check your 6. From a former USAF pilot.

  10. John T Brewer says:

    God Bless and Keep You Shifty! It is because of you that we are FREE.

  11. Pat Mons says:

    Thank you tonal of our service men and women! You are our heroes!!!

  12. Bill Nash says:

    You are a true American hero. God bless you and RIP.

  13. Peggy Staneff says:

    Thank you Mark Pfeifer for bringing this story to our attention. Shifty, thank you for your service and may you rest
    in peace.

  14. Ruben Plaza says:

    Heroes like him don’t need parades, need all the love and gratitude we can give them as a our thanks!
    May God hold him in His Arms!

  15. jhenry says:

    Thank you very much!

  16. MSG R says:

    Rest in peace Shifty And GOD bless The 101st

  17. Wanda says:

    Rest in Peace Shifty,and thank you for your service. May God Bless and keep you.

  18. Chessie says:

    God rest yor soul Shifty. We are proud of heros like you. Thank you for your service!

  19. Joe Scully says:

    May Shifty rest in Peace. He has earned it.

  20. Gia says:

    Rest in Peace Shifty, thank you for your service.

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