T-O-R-T-U-R-E. As the television camera focused on his face, Commander Jeremiah Denton, a Prisoner of War, blinked this word in Morse Code over and over. He sent a message to the world from North Vietnam, while answering a reporter’s questions. After the war, Rear Admiral Denton received the Navy Cross–not for this message–but for his answer to the reporter’s question: “What do you think about your government’s actions?” Knowing he would be tortured more, Denton said, “Well, I don't know what is happening, but whatever the position of my government is, I support it--fully. Whatever the position of my government is, I believe in it--yes, sir. I'm a member of that government, and it is my job to support it, and I will as long as I live!” Years later, he continued this vow by becoming a congressman from Alabama in the United States Senate.
Commander Denton also acted as the spokesperson for the first plane load of POWs returning from North Vietnam. His short three sentence speech is still remembered by many: “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances. We are profoundly grateful to our Commander-in-Chief and to our nation for this day. God bless America!”
Jeremiah Denton's life story weaves in people and events that provided values and essential life-tools for him. A noted Naval aviator before the Vietnam War, he was a U.S. Senator from Alabama afterward. For ages 12+
2012 Stars and Flags Book Award First Place (Children 9-12)
A national contest which promotes books with military content.
Remembrance Table Originally called the POW/MIA Remembrance Table during the Vietnam War, it was used to remember Prisoners of War and those Missing in Action. In today’s military, there is a Remembrance Table at every formal dinner, but there can be slight variations in items included on the table. Storyteller, Anne Chancey Dalton uses each item on a table set for one person to tell the moving story of Jeremiah Denton's life and the effects the war had on his wife and seven children.
Armed Forces Day 2011 - A Tribute to Admiral Jeremiah Denton
Thomas More Law Center
Battle-Ready to Defend America