Ed McMahon died on Wednesday, June 24th. On the morning of June 25th it was announced that 70′s stunner Farrah Fawcett passed away. Then, before the sun could set on the East coast, pop icon Michael Jackson joined the other two. I was rather quick to report the deaths of Fawcett and Jackson, missed the McMahon death until after Jackson’s. While I was writing about the death of Jackson, I realized that in the overall scheme of things, one of America’s greatest hero’s had passed away last week and he left this world with little fanfare.
His name will only be recognized by a handful, not the masses that come along with the likes of the trio mentioned above. His name was Darrel Powers. To his friends he was called “Shifty“. A simple man from the hills and mountains of Virginia, Shifty Powers never recorded an album, never acted in a movie, and never sat on the “Late Show” or any other late night talk show. Instead, Powers was a part of a dying group of men and women who fought for this nation in World War II.
He will be immortalized however. Featured in the film “Band of Brothers” an epic 10 part mini-series on HBO, Shifty Powers was an “Easy” company man in the 506′th PIR (Parachute Infantry Regimen) “Screaming Eagles“. On a day when Jackson and Fawcett passed away, and McMahon the night before, I find myself not looking at the three of them with sadness but my own regret for not announcing the passing of an American hero last week.
Shifty Powers battled Germans and numerous medical issues in his later years. He was 86 and represents a continual increase in the number of WWII veterans who are leaving our lives. Unlike the above, these are our grandfathers and even our grandmothers. They represent a simpler time and even now, decades later, an era that today is hardly understood by us younger generations.
For those who are familiar with the “Band of Brothers” story, first brought to the public by the late historian Anthony Ambrose, then you too will know that even now, it seems that many of the fallen soldiers of WWII are once again re-uniting with their friends.
It is a sad day when 3 celebrities die, one at least completely unexpected. While we may think we know them through their popularity, it’s often the ones that we don’t know that have done the most for our way of life. It’s because of the sacrifices of those men and women, that I wrote this article. I’m truly glad you found it.
May Shifty Powers and all the men and women who have done so much for our country by putting themselves in harms way find peace in the here after. May they realize their childhoods and young adult lives that were so devastatingly taken away from them.
Perhaps I could have put this on the site as a front page article, honoring all of the American hero’s. Instead, I think much like they lived their lives, it’s a quiet tip of the hat in a way that many of them wanted to live. I put this article where it is at out of complete respect.
Rest in peace Mr. Powers, another Eagle has flown home.