James Hilton wrote a best selling novel in the Thirties called The Lost Horizon, in which there was a peaceful, wonderful land called Shangri-la. In the United States today there is also the search for Shangri-la, but today’s Shangri-la has a different meaning for each half of the country. Believers in big government believe Shangri-la will be found in ever bigger government interfering in every facet of our lives, all for our betterment, and the other half believing that Shangri-la will be found in the return to small and Constitutional government as outlined by the Founders. One will eventually win, but in the meantime the real Shangri-la was the USS Hornet CV-8. On 18 April 1942 the Hornet carried sixteen B-25 Mitchell medium bombers under command of Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle to within six hundred and fifty miles of Tokyo and launched a raid that galvanized the country. When asked by reporters where the planes took off from, President Roosevelt laughingly said, “Shangri-la.”

The stormy North Pacific skies
Had hid her well from prying eyes
She launched the bombers one by one
Who set off for the Rising Sun
The Mitchell boys, Doolittle pa
Now for all time in Shangri-la

Leave a Reply