Jeremiah Denton, POW Who Blinked 'Torture' In Vietnam War Honored In Funeral
No one alive when the Vietnam war was raging will ever forget when Captain Jeremiah Denton was the highest ranking American captured by the North Vietnamese. But in a moment of pure propaganda, what happened next inspired everyone.
Denton said, "Whatever the position of my government is I support it -- fully."
While he was on camera his eyes were blinking in a strange manner. Denton was sending a message back home using the dots and dashes of Morse Code. He was spelling out the word, "torture." It was the first real evidence of the ordeal the POWs were facing. Denton would spend the next seven years as a POW.
The brave American hero died last week at the age of 89, and last night, a funeral mass was held in his honor in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Robert Shumaker, who retired as an admiral, was a POW with Denton. Nearly a half century later, he says he's still in awe of Denton's blinking message.
'When you see the video, I hardly can walk and chew gum at the same time. But he was talking to the Japanese reporter and blinking at the same time."
When Denton was finally freed in 1973, he made a memorable speech, saying, "God bless America."
It's a memory his seven children will never forget. A final farewell to an American hero, who with the blinking of his eyes, told the world a truth.