Passport (reproduction) Ernie used for many of his travels during World War II. the passport, issued on May 20, 1942, has been stamped by the British Consulate; the Irish Legation; Belfast; Rabat; Bermuda; London, England; Algiers, Algeria; Trinidad, Tobago; Casablanca, Morocco; and Prestwick. The passport has a green cover and includes a black and white photograph of Ernie. Ernie Pyle Museum. Photograph by James W. Brown

Ernie Pyle, the beloved WWII war correspondent,  wrote, "The first one came early in the morning. They slid him down from the mule and stood him on his feet for a moment, while they got a new grip. In the half light he might have been merely a sick man standing there, leaning on the others. Then they laid him on the ground in the shadow of the low stone wall alongside the road." The National Society of Newspaper Columnists has named the top ten newspaper columns in history and Ernie Pyle's 1944 column  “The Death of Captain Waskow ” is number one. The first time I encountered this column was in a special display at the Ernie Pyle Museum in Dana, Indiana. I heard the column read and it brought tears to my eyes. I later read the column. There is a rhythm to his words and the honor accorded Captain Waskow by his men is memorialized by Pyle's words. There is no doubt in my mind that the column deserves the recognition as the best column ever written even topping the 1897 “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus” by  Francis Pharcellus Church. Note: I made the image of the folding straight razor at the top of this blog in the kitchen of Ernie Pyle's boyhood home in Dana, Indiana. The razor was not necessarily the one used by Pyle's father but was part of the period decoration of the home.