And then I wrote...

by Dick Schilling, "Editor Emeritus"

... that as I write this, President Trump and the dictator of North Korea are just a few hours away from their scheduled “first” meeting, in Singapore. The United States hopes to convince North Korea’s leader that if he gives up his nuclear ambitions his nation can prosper, much as his peninsula-sharing South Korea has.

It pains me to think that I doubt much will be accomplished. I hope I am wrong. If nothing comes of it, could that be considered a failure? Actually, not trying would have been the failure.

What the meeting has brought to mind is the fact that it might not have been necessary had different actions been taken near the end of the Korean War, in 1952.

An individual would have to be of Social Security recipient age to have a sentient memory of those days. This was the war that essentially ended in a tie. The parties agreed to make the 38th parallel the boundary between North and South, beyond which no military action would take place.

The war was costly for the United States, both financially and from the deaths of and injuries to service members.

But a lot of people thought the U.S. could have won that war had it pursued the enemy to the Yalu River, roughly the 40th parallel, or the boundary with China. The ground war no doubt would have cost more lives, but my Navy service convinced me we had air superiority.

It would have been a “conventional” war, since China did not yet have a nuclear capability. Only the U.S. and Russia had that status.

I still recall the words of General Douglas MacArthur in his “old soldiers never die” retirement speech to congress in regard to that artificial line which was drawn: “I asked them, why surrender an advantage to the enemy in the field, and they could not answer me!”

This is sort of a dead spot in the sports world. Basketball over finally, and football a couple months off. With baseball being a marathon and not a dash, it’s too early to get excited about winners and losers.

So the huge headline on one sports page over the story of the Triple Crown winner in horse racing amused me. IMMORTALITY, it screamed. Did the headline writer really know the meaning of that word? It means unending existence. Or lasting fame. Or exempt from oblivion.

But the story noted there have been a dozen others who have achieved that success. So who can name them if their existence and fame lasts forever? Haven’t they receded into oblivion?

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