essay #1

660 Words3 Pages
When most people think of giving or generosity, they think of money or charity organizations. However, there are many other things that one can be generous with, such as one’s time, effort, counsel and even one’s life. Generosity can be easily forgotten and ignored by many people; although there are some who are moderately generous, there are very few who exhibit the selfless generosity that James Dowling exhibited repeatedly. After reading the story of his life, anyone can see how his acts of immense generosity prove his life to be a “sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” Such examples of this charity included the voluntary offering of his life, his freedom, and his counsel. One may expect that tremendous and humbling sacrifices come from great and noble men, but in James Dowling’s case, he made the decision to risk his life for others at the young age of nineteen. When war broke out in 1943, the then juvenile James Dowling enlisted into the armed forces without delay: “…when war broke out in 1943, at age nineteen, he immediately volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps and qualified for bombardier-navigator training” (Brokaw 431). With hard work and determination, Dowling soon rose in rank, but also in danger: “By his eighth mission, he was lead bombardier-navigator… his squadron was involved in a massive bombing attack on an industrial center near the German town of Kassel in September of 1944. …Thirty of the B-24s [planes] were lost, including Dowling’s. He managed to bail out before it crashed, but as soon as he hit the ground, he was captured by German troops…” (Brokaw 432). At this point in his life, James Dowling was once again faced with a difficult choice: to give up his freedom for the safety of others, or to abscon... ... middle of paper ... ...ifice consistently throughout his life, and this aspect of his existence is the aspect that inspires me the most. It gives me strength to realize that I can make to make a small sacrifice now and then if there are other people who make large sacrifices consistently like Dowling. Through thick and thin, James Dowling did what he needed to and more. In times of war he offered up his life and his freedom for the freedom of his countrymen. In times of peace he offered up his counseling and his wisdom so that those who knew him could be free from the hardships that he himself had experienced. This kind of valor and strength is awesome to behold, especially when it is exhibited throughout one’s entire life. James Dowling never stopped giving of himself, whether mandated or free, and that is why his life is truly what one would call a “sacrifice on the altar of freedom.”

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