Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mostly Vigilant WASP Fact Checkers


As the Director and Asso. Director of Wings Across America, we have willingly created the volunteer job of sharing news and information about the WASP online.  It is a privledge. It is also a huge responsibility.  In trying to make sure the WASP are written into our American history, we are also trying very hard to make sure that history is not RE WRITTEN!

The number of email requests for quick quotes has been a little overwhelming at times. Many reporters ask about the facts-- some even send their articles to be checked for accuracy.  Not all do.  We  have also tried to make sure that the true story is always told, no matter who is telling it.

However, sometimes, that is almost impossible.  It certainly is ongoing!

Here are a few RECENT examples:

  • The  obituary of WASP Frankie Yearwood, which was sent to me by the Memphis Commercial Appeal Newspaper and I forwarded to you,  contained the phrase, "Congressional Gold Medal, awarded to them by President Barack Obama."  That is false.  The Congressional Gold Medal was awarded to the WASP by the Congress of the United States--the ONLY entity that has the authority to award that medal.   Credit where credit is due.    (The President  signed the bill; however, he did not appear at the ceremony.)  
  • Today Show interview on Memorial Day w/ 3 WASP hosted by Jenna Bush Hager-- delightful, short, to the point, but the WASP were NOT awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor-- as stated,  and that distinction is so important to make.  Those courageous military personnel who have been given that most sacred award (many died on the battlefield) are the best of the best-- our national heroes.  It is our country's highest honor for courage under fire--for valor.   The Congressional GOLD Medal is the highest honor that can be awarded to a civilian.  Of course, this is not the first time for this mistake to happen.  I'm sure many never noticed the difference.  You better believe that those who served absolutely know the difference!
  • Senator Hutchison, one of our best WASP Champions, has said, quite enthusiastically,  the WASP flew around the world.  Well, no, that is not accurate.  The WASP never flew outside the Continental US.  Not that they wouldn't have if given the opportunity.  The Senator's great enthusiasm for the WASP at the medal ceremony may have overruled the written word.  Her speech  is now a permanent part of the C-SPAN archives.   Nevertheless, she remains a wonderful WASP Champion!
  • "Senator Mikulski is Nicole Malachowski's mother."  This one I love, because it just makes me smile.   It is an example of trying to connect the dots where there are none.
  • In the second edition of "WASP IN THEIR OWN WORDS," the listing on the second page for Texas State Technical College also says "Waxo".  No further explanation is necessary;)
So, there you have it.  An ongoing battle to fact check and spell check EVERYTHING!  Sometimes we win-- sometimes we don't.  Sometimes we laugh...and other times?  But, we do press on!

Thanks for listening-- and THANK YOU for your support!


Nancy Allyson Parrish, Director, Wings Across America
WASP Deanie Bishop Parrish, Associate Director, Wings Across America

1620 South Ninth St.


Wings Across America -- an all-volunteer project whose  mission is to educate and inspire America with the history of the WASP, first women in history to fly America's military aircraft.  10 years, 115 WASP interviews , 2,000 pages online, the Fly Girls of WWII Traveling WASP Exhibit.  Creating truly outside the box ways to expand the impact of educational information-- one step, one story, one WASP at a time.

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