Today’s college students ponder the question.
Like WWII Medal of Honor winner alumnus Pappy Boyington, at least, in the opinion of one of the members of its Student Senate.
The University of Washington’s student senate rejected a memorial for alumnus Gregory “Pappy” Boyington of “Black Sheep Squadron” fame amid concerns a military hero who shot down enemy planes was not the right kind of person to represent the school.
Student senator Jill Edwards, according to minutes of the student government’s meeting last week, said she “didn’t believe a member of the Marine Corps was an example of the sort of person UW wanted to produce.”
Ashley Miller, another senator, argued “many monuments at UW already commemorate rich white men.”
Senate member Karl Smith amended the resolution to eliminate a clause that said Boyington “was credited with destroying 26 enemy aircraft, tying the record for most aircraft destroyed by a pilot in American Uniform,” for which he was awarded the Navy Cross.
Smith, according to the minutes, said “the resolution should commend Colonel Boyington’s service, not his killing of others.”
Student Senate Minutes
Previously noticed by The Jawa Report
This is absolutely appalling, of course, but what makes it worse is the consideration that these students’ values and opinions (and level of historical understanding) are typical of the products of just about all our universities today. Jill Edwards and Ashley Miller could be representative spokespersons for pretty much any enclave of the American university-educated upper middle class from Brookline, Massachusetts to Berkeley, California. It is enough to make one wish it were possible for the rest of us to stand aside, and let the representatives of the New Caliphate pay a visit to the University of Washington.
At least, we can smile at the million dollars worth of free publicity this story is going to be worth to that university, and the thought of how its administration will squirm. I will wager that Pappy Boyington will get a really nice memorial at his alma mater out of this before this is true. He certainly deserves one.
Historical sidelight: Greg Boyington was renowned not only for his skills as a fighter pilot, but for his abilities as a ladies’ man as well. If Jill and Ashley could somehow have had the opportunity to run into him (on terms of age and generational equality), one suspects a good time would have been had by all, and the young ladies would emerge from the experience with a much more positive opinion of the desirability of University of Washington marines.