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July 2016
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Beachwood Buzz
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training time by signing out of boot
camp, after which I was in general
duty. At the end of two years I was
a seaman 2nd class and went in the
Naval Reserve as a commissioned
officer. At the age of 75, I retired from
the Navy Reserves as a Lieutenant
Commander. I was always proud of
my military involvement."
Because the Enola Gay symbolizes
power and might over America's ene-
mies in WWII, we asked Gray how he
views the significance of these past
events. He replied, "I think we [Amer-
icans] developed a wisdom about
what happened in the final stages of
the war that's pretty unique, because
it isn't only the Enola Gay, but the
tremendous efforts of our military to
do a great job defeating Japan and
Germany. It was a tremendous joint
effort to destroy two great military
powers in 1945. I think Washing-
ton, D.C. did a great job. I think as a
democracy, we should be very proud
of what our government did to over-
come an enemy. History books tell
you about it, but it doesn't tell you
exactly what went on."
Gray described what he wants
people to learn from his dedication
to restoring this relic of American
history. He explained, "I want people
to be proud of what our military ac-
complished for all of us through the
WWII period, not just the end of the
war. It was a tremendous accomplish-
ment. After the Pearl Harbor attack,
there was terrible destruction of the
American military at the start of our
part of the war, and we were able to
overcome that. Despite the tremen-
dous loss of life, our tremendous
economic and industrial strength
enabled us to overcome two strong
enemies who were prepared to give
up millions of lives of their own to
overcome us and they weren't able
to. I am proud to be an American, as
we should all be proud.
He continues, "I regard the
Enola Gay as a symbol of Ameri-
can strength and vitality in every
phase of life here in our country. I
pride myself on my initiative and
economic ability to help secure our
standing in the world. I think the
world ought to be very proud of us.
I have a real passion for the United
States. As president of the resident
council at Stone Gardens, I provide
a small service daily and am proud
to help others. If you do a good job
of living, you're naturally helping
other people and we do it here all
the time. But, I've got to tell you, the
people who flew the Enola Gay were
inspiring examples of people who
helped and cared about others and
our nation."
Gray graduated from Case Western
Reserve University School of Law in
1951. Part of a building at CWRU was
named after him. He practiced law for
25 years and is currently retired. He is
also an honorary director of Recovery
Resources. He's been to the White
House seven times and is pictured
here with President Obama. Gray is
also mentioned in a book by Gary
Stromberg, called Absolutely Al. The
late Paul Tibbets, the pilot who flew
the Enola Gay, presented him with a
caricature for his financial support of
the airplane's restoration.
Gray reflects, "Do you know what
I am? I'm a lucky guy. I was born in
America and given opportunities to
live the right way. I'm not just saying
that, I mean it. I happen to love
Israel, and I've been there 40 times,
so, that's made a big difference in
my life, but I have no illusions. As
much as I love Israel, I don't want to
leave America to live anywhere else,
including Israel."
Pictured:
Gray posing with Enola Gay photos. Lower right photo is of
Gray with Enola Gay pilot, the late Paul Tibbets.
Enola Gay, now and then.
Gray with President Obama at the White House.
The late Paul Tibbets presented Gray with a caricature for his
financial support of the airplane's restoration.
"Do you know what I am?
I'm a lucky guy. I was born in
America and given opportunities
to live the right way. I'm not just
saying that, I mean it."