Imagine Going There Travel - February 2023

HOW ONE PIGEON SAVED 194 AMERICAN SOLDIERS The Story of Cher Ami Animals have always played a role in military efforts during wartime. Cats were kept aboard naval ships for pest control, horses and camels provided transportation for supplies and soldiers pre-World War II, and dogs are still used to this day for search and rescue efforts as well as mine detection. But one animal profession became obsolete with the advancement of communication technology: messenger. Often used during World War I, many dogs and pigeons became responsible for delivering messages of high importance. Of all the animals used during World War I, one pigeon named Cher Ami defied the odds to save nearly 200 American soldiers. On Oct. 2, 1918, Major Charles Whittlesey got trapped along the side of a hill in Northeastern France with 550 of his men. They ended up behind enemy lines with no food or ammunition, and — to make matters worse — his battalion started to suffer from friendly fire since allied troops remained unaware of their location. With nowhere to run, Whittlesey tried to send runners to contact the allies about their predicament. Unfortunately, their enemies consistently intercepted or killed these runners until only 194 men remained. Whittlesey decided to dispatch messages by pigeon. The first pigeon got shot down almost immediately, so he sent a second pigeon with the message, “Men are suffering. Can support be sent?” That one also got shot. Finally, Whittlesey turned to his last pigeon, Cher Ami, and scribbled down a quick note on onion paper that read, “We are along the road parallel to 276.4. Our own artillery is dropping a barrage directly on us. For heaven’s sake, stop it.” Cher Ami took flight, but even after being shot down by the Germans, the bird defied the odds and actually took flight again! The effective delivery of this message helped save 194 men, but Cher Ami did not escape unharmed. He had been shot through the breast, blinded in one eye, and had a leg hanging only by a tendon. Army medics treated Cher Ami enough so he could travel to America, where he eventually succumbed to his wounds. The bird was then taxidermied and displayed in the Smithsonian, where you can still see him today. So, the next time you’re in Washington, D.C., stop by the “Price of Freedom” exhibit at the National Museum of American History where you can personally see this brave pigeon.

“There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.” —HENRY VAN DYKE

Weeknight Scalloped Potatoes

Try this easy way to make a weeknight dinner feel special.

Ingredients • 2 tbsp butter • 1 medium onion,

• 2 1/2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick • 1 cup canned chicken broth • 1 cup heavy cream • 2 bay leaves • 4 oz cheddar cheese

chopped (about 1 cup) • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp) • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves • 1 1/4 tsp salt • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions 1. Heat oven to 425 F. In large Dutch oven, melt butter on medium-high and heat until foaming subsides. 2. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. 3. Add garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 4. Add potatoes, chicken broth, cream, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Cover and reduce heat to medium- low and simmer until potatoes are almost tender (paring knife can be slipped in and out of potato with some resistance), about 10 minutes. Discard bay leaves. 5. Transfer to 1 1/2 qt casserole; sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cream is bubbling around edges and top is golden brown — about 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before serving.

• 3 770.421.9627

Great Vacations Matter Because Great Memories Matter Most

Made with FlippingBook Ebook Creator