In August I attended the dedication ceremony for the Vice Admiral James B. Stockdale A-4C Skyhawk memorial adjacent to the main gate bearing his name at Naval Air Station North Island. Around 200 guests attended the ceremony, including Marine General James N. Mattis. Noteworthy was the attendance of 40 Sailors from the Pre-Commissioning Unit Stockdale (DDG-106), which was no doubt due to the prudent leadership of its prospective commanding officer, Commander Frederick W. Kacher.
The event resurrected that old question Winston Churchill raised in his essays, Thoughts and Adventures. "Can modern communities do without great men? Can they dispense with hero-worship? Can the common sense of the masses provide a larger wisdom, a nobler sentiment, more vigorous actions than were ever got from the Titans?"