The great Winston Churchill

I came across the following story about Winston Churchill when I was reading The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes:

In the summer of 1941 Sergeant James Allen Ward was awarded the Victoria Cross for climbing out onto the wing of his Wellington bomber, 13,000 feet above the Zuider Zee, to extinguish a fire in the starboard engine.  Secured only by a rope around his waist, he managed not only to smother the fire but also to return along the wing to the aircraft’s cabin.  Churchill, an admirer as well as a performer of swashbuckling exploits, summoned the shy New Zealander to 10 Downing Street.  Ward, struck dumb with awe in Churchill’s presence, was unable to answer the prime minister’s questions.  Churchill surveyed the unhappy hero with some compassion.  “You must feel very humble and awkward in my presence,” he said.

“Yes, sir,” managed Ward.

“Then you can imagine how humble and awkward I feel in yours.”

Now, as a thought exercise, try to imagine any politician today having that kind of grace.

(If you’re curious about Ward, here’s a bit more info about his short and honorable life.)

UPDATE:  Welcome, Ace readers.  I can fairly promise you that neither my writing nor my thinking are as good as Churchill’s.  On the other hand, I’m here now, blogging away, and I offer two things at my blog:  A broad array of fairly well-written posts on a variety of conservative topics and some of the most intelligent commenters in the blogosphere.  Since I know Andrew Breitbart thinks Ace has the best commenters, you might feel very much at home here.  All of which is is to say that I think you should spend a minute looking around and deciding whether you think this is a site worth visiting again.

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  • Charlie (Colorado)

    Can we count George W Bush as a “politician today”?

  • Mike Devx

    Charlie, yes we can.  They have been calling him dumb all these years, but Obama’s been following his policies, every one.  Reality IS.

    They have with such continued silence been acknowledging his grace. Truth tells in the end, How many of us understood that man’s grace?

  • Ymarsakar

    I think Obama’s just too lazy of an arse to change anything. The Left likes to complain to high heaven, but they most often follow the law of inertial and won’t do any real work. Except to blow stuff up.

  • Dagwood

    The Little, Brown Book of Anecdotes was my bathroom reader for years, and the Churchill stories were among the best.  Great to see that someone else has enjoyed it.

  • Jose

    Trivia: Sgt Ward was stationed at RAF Feltwell in Norfolk.  Feltwell is in use today by the USAF, primarily providing family housing for personnel stationed at RAF Lakeheath.

  • BWDavidD

    That Churchill story reminded me of this:

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