Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Irish Sports Page

A term my large and gentle Irish friend introduced me too some years back. Its describes the penchant those of us over thirty have for turning first to the obituary page during the morning news browse. Its a habit I have had for a long time. Like everyone else I suppose first you are looking for those familiar names and making sure you adjust your schedule to attend the wake of a family member or friend. After the practical part of the exercise you scan the pieces alternately pitying those who have not led that exciting of an existence and admiring short chronicles of a life well led. Yesterday I came across this obituary in the local paper. I am not including the name of the deceased. But I thought this excerpt will give you my idea of a life not squandered.

Born and raised in Harrisburg, PA., Paul was one of eleven children. He attended Harrisburg Catholic High School, where he was the Captain of the football team. Paul was awarded an athletic scholarship to attend Mount Saint Mary’s College in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1943. Following graduation, Paul enlisted in the United States Marine Corps., attended basic training at Paris Island, South Carolina and officers training at Quantico, Va. He was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant and assigned to the 3rd Marine Division. During WW II, Paul participated in the Pacific Islands operations of Guam and Iwo Jima as both a Rifle Platoon Leader and Company Commander. At the time of his discharge he had attained the rank of Captain.

Paul became a Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1947. After thirty years of service, he retired in 1977. During his career with the Bureau, Paul was the recipient of 12 commendations from Director J. Edgar Hoover for his work in Foreign Counter Intelligence. Among Paul’s notable accomplishments was his investigative work that resulted in the arrests and convictions of American communists, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for their passing of military and industrial information pertaining to the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union. Paul’s investigative work also led to the arrests and convictions on charges of espionage of Soviet Intelligence Officer, Rudolf Abel who was subsequently exchanged in the release of CIA U-2 pilot, Gary Powers in 1962 and American traitor, John Butenko.

No comments: