The Corner

God Bless You, ‘Lucky’ Penney

 

It was, of course, her name that caught my attention. Over on the right column of the Corner, in a link to Greg Pollowitz over at The Feed, it leaped right out at me: I bet I would think somebody called Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney is terrific, based on the coolness of her name alone.

But it gets even better. Read the Washington Post story Greg linked to, and you will learn that she was a rookie F-16 pilot on 9/11, sent up to bring down the hijacked Flight 93 before it could land a devastating blow against thousands of people. Her plane had no ammunition, so it would basically be a suicide mission. The terrorists’ own suicide mission was bent on killing innocents; hers was to protect the innocent. It turned out that she didn’t have to go through with it, because the passengers of Flight 93 had engaged in their own self-sacrificing act of heroism.

She was one of the first female U.S. combat pilots, and went on to serve in Iraq. Today, she’s “a single mom of two girls” who “still loves to fly.”

Over the next 24 hours, and over the next 14 months, you will hear a lot from politicians about the flag and about how great America is. You will be tempted to dismiss it as self-interested twaddle, and to tune it out completely. And, when it comes to politicians, you will generally not be wrong to do so. But I ask you, even as you look skeptically at the flag-waving politicians, to remember that our country, does, after all, produce amazing people like Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney; that, despite all our terrible social flaws, Americans by and large love and admire such people, and strive to be worthy of the sacrifices they make; and that, therefore, the patriotic rhetoric — despite the low uses to which it can put — is true.

Lucky Penney is what’s right with America. I can’t do better than what Greg said: “Wow, and thank you.”

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

O’Rourke’s America

With apologies to Margaret Atwood and a thousand other dystopian novelists, we do not have to theorize about what an American police state would look like, because we know what it looks like: the airport, that familiar totalitarian environment where Americans are disarmed, stripped of their privacy, divested of ... Read More
World

Is America Becoming Sinicized?

A little over 40 years ago, Chinese Communist strongman and reformer Deng Xiaoping began 15 years of sweeping economic reforms. They were designed to end the disastrous, even murderous planned economy of Mao Zedong, who died in 1976. The results of Deng’s revolution astonished the world. In four decades, ... Read More
Sports

LeBron James Looks Like a Fraud

So, LeBron James claimed that Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey was simply “misinformed or not really educated on the situation” when he tweeted his support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. “I don’t want to get into a feud with Daryl Morey, but I believe he wasn’t educated on the situation at ... Read More
World

Kurdish, Syrian, and Turkish Ironies

Outrage met Donald Trump’s supposedly rash decision to pull back U.S. troops from possible confrontational zones between our Kurdish friends in Syria and Recep Erdogan’s expeditionary forces. Turkey claims that it will punish the Syrian Kurds for a variety of supposed provocations, including aiding and ... Read More