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The Greatest Of Them All

Updated on August 26, 2009

As i watch the evening news and hear the short mention of the conflict of the middle East wars, I can't help thinking about all those young men and women that are there and have ---or willing to give that ultimate sacrifice for what they believe in.

That same news broadcast then goes on to talk and interview all these people that are complaining about all there everyday hardships and stress.  That  is followed immediately by several commercials about what drug to take to relieve their terrible situation.

This takes me back to another time when we did not have or make these situations into a drama.  There are many great people that can and will step forward but the one that I will always remember was an exception.  He stepped up to the plate and showed us how with deep compassion.  The drug of choice of that time was a simple medication---Entertainment---Laughter.

History was made when it came to entertaining the troops.  Entertainers traveled all over the world, from the biggest movie stars to unknown vaudevillians to give those few moments of escape from what might lay ahead.  Some never returned, having fallen beside the fighting men or perished in route in plane crashes.   The USO claimed that more than 1.5 million volunteers had stepped up to this home-plate.

  Bob Hope:

Yes those troops gave their lives and Bob eased that debt with his life commitment of what he did best.  He brought laughter and relief to ease their tension when it was needed the most.  No prescription was written on paper, just jokes.  Congress honored Bob Hope by declaring him the "first and only honorary veteran of the U.S. armed forces."

Bob Hope
Bob Hope

Hope was born in Eltham, London, England.  His family emigrated to the United States in 1908 and he became a U.S. citizen in 1920 at the age of seventeen.  He worked at a variety of odd jobs and soon found that he liked the stage and it's performers.

Hope became one of Paramount's biggest stars and regularly appeared in Hollywood films and radio which made him one of the best known entertainers of North America.  He was best known for his "Road" movies in which he starred with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour.

Hope was host of the Academy Awards ceremony 18 times between 1939 and 1977. His career in broadcasting spanned 64 years. He did many specials for the NBC television network.

He was right there entertaining the troops in WWII and brought them entertainers that for those brief moments, gave them the connection that no others could do. Their families wrote to them telling them what was happening and what was the latest popular songs, but he brought it right to them and made it real.

Hope's 1970 and 1971 Christmas specials for NBC were filmed in Vietnam in front of military audiences at the height of the war, more than 60% of the U.S. households watched these Christmas specials.

Several different entertainers had the privilege to accompany him on these dedicated missions.

Now with all the U.S. troops being deployed to the vast areas of the world, I know that there is an attempt to bring some kind of entertainment to ease their battle, yet I know that deep down in my heart there will never be one that will ever fill the shoes of Mr. Bob Hope.


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    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Thank you Tony, I don't think that anyone could fill his shoes today, yet I wish more would try!

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Thank you Tony, I don't think that anyone could fill his shoes today, yet I wish more would try!

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 8 years ago from South Africa

      Thanks for this great tribute to a great guy!

      Love and peace


    • profile image

      \Brenda Scully 8 years ago

      Bob Hope is brill i really like his voice.... and I really like your hubs

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Hey Cris, yes he was there for those that gave the most.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 8 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      What a fitting tribute to a truly great man. I guess they don't make them like they used to. But he will always be an inspiration. Nice one Ms Ginn! :D

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Yes Nancy,our society today seems only to think about them self's first.

    • profile image

      Nancy's Niche 8 years ago

      Navarre, Thanks for the point you made concerning “it’s all about me” drama’s that exist today. Whatever happened to forgiveness and compassion? Our society today has become calloused and vengeful…

      Mr. Hope was one of a kind---giving up every Christmas to entertain the troops with his group of stars and Production Company who followed him. He and his sidekick Bing Crosby brought us laugher in good times and bad. Thanks for honoring them and our troops with your article.

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Smireles, yes he was a one of a kind.

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 8 years ago from Texas

      Great hub. We will never forget Bob Hope. Thanks for the memories!

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      Jerilee thanks, a dose of laughter is the best medicine out there and we sure do need it---today! love ya

    • Jerilee Wei profile image

      Jerilee Wei 8 years ago from United States

      What the world needs now? Someone who makes us laugh and care like the Bob Hope's and George M. Cohen's. Great hub!

    • Ginn Navarre profile image

      Ginn Navarre 8 years ago

      G-Ma, you are so right, seems like dedication and appreciation are something in the past?

      Peggy, I think that there are some shoes that can not be filled---in todays world?

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I agree. Bob Hope was one of a kind and he is sorely missed. He left behind very big shoes to be filled.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      No way he was one in a Million..and it's so sad we have not taken our clues from him and many others also who were so dedicated...where has the dedication gone??? The appreciation for what we have? It is so sad..God bless us All...:O) "wipe off that grin, and know where you've been"...words from a song..."I remember"

      "The hurt doesn't show, but the pain still grows.."


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