Thursday, January 03, 2013

2012! - The Year In Review

Time to say goodbye to 2012. The year that was supposed to end it all, but we're all still here.

A year of a long freefall, a "zombie" attack, the iPhone 5, Pussy Riot, solar eruptions, Fifty Shades, Minecraft, Gangnam Style, the sale of Star Wars and an implosion in UNPASID.

A year of pain for those in Syria, Egypt, Aurora, Newtown and those affected by Hurricane Sandy.

A year of heroes in Avengers, a rising Dark Knight, a sky falling, Expendables and a furry-footed Hobbit!

It was a year of triumph for London and her Olympic athletes, Barack Obama's re-election but a year of failure for the Secret Service, Lance Armsrong and David Petraeus.

As always we must acknowledge those we lost in 2012, especially astronaut Neil Armstrong [82] the first person to walk on the Moon, actor Ernest Borgnine [95] , singer Whitney Houston [48], film director Tony Scott [68], science fiction and fantasy author Ray Bradbury [91], Star Wars concept artist Ralph McQuarrie [82], Bee Gees singer and songwriter Robin Gibb [62], and most recently, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. [78] the Desert Storm commander.

I would like to especially mention actor and former U.S. Army PFC Charles Durning [89] who during WWII took part in the D-Day landings and earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star, 3 Purple Hearts and was granted the grade of Chevailier of the Legion of Honour by france. Never a leading actor his face and voice is nevertheless known to all who watched movies since the 70's. He was Lt. Snyder in The Sting and followed the role with more than 100 movie and TV credits including: Dog Day Afternoon, Tootsie, The Hudsucker Proxy, Spy Hard, Rescue Me, Everybody Loves Raymond and even voiced Francis Griffin in Family Guy. Among numerous Academy Award and Emmy nominations was one for portraying a Marine veteran in NCIS where Durning was able to draw on his first-hand knowledge of Combat Stress Reaction.

We also acknowledge the passing of the following individuals who made the history books: Rodney King [47] whose beating by police sparked the 1992 Los Angeles riots, Richard Alf [59] the co-founder/chairman of San Diego Comic-Con and August Kowalczyk [90] Polish actor and last survivor of 1942 Auschwitz concentration camp breakout.

We mourn the loss of the following entertainers:
Norman Alden [87] American actor [Kranix in Transformers: The Movie / Lou Caruthers in Back to the Future]
Phillip R. Allen
Phillip R. Allen [72] American actor [Captain Esteban in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock]
Bob Anderson [89]  British fencer and fight choreographer [Star Wars / Highlander / Lord of the Rings]
Gerry Anderson [83] British producer, writer and director [Thunderbirds / Captain Scarlet]
R. G. Armstrong [95] American actor [Maj.Gen. Phillips in Predator]
Ian Abercrombie [77] British actor [Mr. Pitt in Seinfeld / Chancellor Palpatine in Star Wars: The Clone Wars]
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, CBE [76] English composer, musician and film scorer [Billion Dollar Brain]
Lucille Bliss [96] American voice actress [Smurfette in The Smurfs]
Frank Carson [85] Northern Irish comedian
Dick Clark [82] American television host and producer
Michael Clarke Duncan [54] American actor [The Green Mile / Armageddon / Daredevil]
James Farentino [73], American actor [Frank Chaney in Blue Thunder]
Ben Gazzara [81], American actor [Sgt. Angelo in The Bridge at Remagen]
Joel Goldsmith [54] American film and television composer [Stargate TV franchise]
Andy Griffith [86] American actor [Matlock]
Larry Hagman [81] American actor [J.R. Ewing in Dallas
Marvin Hamlisch [68] American composer [The Spy Who Loved Me]
Bob Holness [83], South African-born British quiz show host [Blockbusters]
Geoffrey Hughes DL [68] English actor [Onslow in Keeping Up Appearances]
Davy Jones [66] British actor and musician [The Monkees]
Alex Karras [77] American football player and actor [Mongo in Blazing Saddles]
David Kelly [82] Irish actor [O'Reilly in Fawlty Towers / Grandpa Joe in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory]
Jack Klugman [90] American actor [Quincy, M.E.]
Joe Kubert [85] Polish-born American comic book artist [Sgt. Rock]
Lance LeGault [77] American actor [Colonel Decker in The A-Team]
Lance LeGault
Herbert Lom [95] Czech-born British actor [Chief Inspector Dreyfus in the Pink Panther movie series]
Richard Lynch [72] American actor [Wolfe in Battlestar Galactica / Baran in Star Trek: The Next Generation]
Sir Patrick Moore, CBE [89] British astronomer and broadcaster
George Murdock [81] American actor [Admiral J.P. Hanson in Star Trek: The Next Generation / Dr. 
Salik in Battlestar Galactica
Jerry Nelson [78] American puppeteer [Count von Count in Sesame Street]
Michael O'Hare [60] American actor [Commander Sinclair in Babylon 5]
J. Michael Riva [63] American production designer [A Few Good Men / Iron Man]
Hal Roach [84] Irish comedian.
Ken Sansom [85] American voice actor [Hound in Transformers]
Jean Wells [56] American game designer, writer, artist. [Dungeons & Dragons: Palace of the Silver Princess]
William Windom [88] American actor [Commodore Decker in Star Trek]

We thank them for their talents.

We also acknowledge the passing of those who dedicated themselves to military, science and public service:

Master Sergeant John F. Baker, Jr. [66] American, former U.S. Army NCO [Medal of Honor recipient]
Air Marshal Sir Alfred Henry Wynne Ball KCB DSO DFC [91] British, retired RAF Air Marshal
Colonel Van T. Barfoot [92] American, former U.S. Army soldier [Medal of Honor recipient]
Master Chief Hospital Corpsman William R. Charette [79] American, U.S. Navy NCO [Medal of Honor recipient]
First Lieutenant Lynn Davis "Buck" Compton [90] American, former U.S. Army soldier [inspiration for Band of Brothers]
Colonel William H. "Bill" Dabney [77] American, retired USMC officer [awarded Navy Cross]
Pádraig Faulkner [94] Irish, former Fianna Fáil politician [Minister for Defence 1979–1980 / Ceann Comhairle 1980–1981]
Florence Green [110], British supercentenarian, former WRAF [Last surviving veteran of World War I].
Senator Daniel Inouye [88] American politician and former U.S. Army officer [Senator from Hawaii / U.S. Army Captain during WWII, Medal Of Honor / Bronze Star / Purple Heart]
General Samuel Jaskilka USMC
General Samuel Jaskilka [92] American, retired U.S. Marine Corps Officer [WWII, Korea, Vietnam / Assistant Commandant 1975–1978]
Senator George McGovern [90] American, former USAAF pilot [U.S. Representative 1957–1961 /  Senator 1963–1981 / 1972 Democratic Party presidential nominee]
Command Sgt. Major Basil L. Plumley [92] American, U.S. Army NCO [Battle of Ia Drang 1965
"We were Soldiers"] 
Captain Alan G. Poindexter [50] American, U.S. Navy officer [retired NASA astronaut]
Rear Admiral James D. "Jig Dog" Ramage [96] American, retired U.S. Navy officer [Naval Aviator during WWII and Vietnam, major player in putting nuclear-capable aircraft aboard carriers]
Sally Ride [61] American physicist and astronaut [First American woman in space]
Marshal of the Soviet Union Sergei Sokolov [101] Russian, retired Soviet Army Officer [Minister of Defense of the Soviet Union 1984–1987]
Colonel James L. Stone [89] American, retired U.S.Army officer [POW and Medal of Honor recipient]
Janice E. Voss [55] American, former NASA astronaut
Flight Lieutenant William Louis Buchanan Walker, AE [99] British, former RAF officer [Pilot during Battle of Britain]
Admiral James D. Watkins [85] American, retired U.S. Navy officer [former Chief of Naval Operations 1982–1986 / U.S. Secretary for Energy 1989-1993

May they rest in peace.

And now we embrace the future of 2013! 

Happy New Year

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