"On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of the plane, and climbed into life rafts."
"Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were. They needed a miracle."
"That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. Then they tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft."
"Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap."
"It was a seagull! Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck. He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal - a very slight meal for eight men - of it. Then they used the intestines for bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait ... and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued."
"Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first lifesaving seagull. And he never stopped saying, "Thank You." That's why almost every Friday night he would walk out to the end of a pier with a bucket full of shrimp, and feed the seagulls with a heart full of gratitude. "
“. . . we saw nothing in the way of searching planes or ships. . . . the second day out we organized little evening and morning prayer meetings. . . . Frankly and humbly we prayed for our deliverance. After the oranges were gone, we experienced terrific pangs of hunger, and we prayed for food. We had a couple of little fish lines with hooks about the size of the end of my little finger, but no bait. Were it not for the fact that I have seven witnesses, I wouldn't dare tell this story because it seems so fantastic. Within an hour after prayer meeting on the eighth day, a sea gull came out of nowhere and landed on my head. I reached up my hand very gently and got him. We wrung his head, feathered him, carved up his carcass and ate every bit, even the little bones. We distributed and used his innards for bait. Captain Cherry caught a little mackerel about six or eight inches long and I caught a little speckled sea bass about the same size, so we had food for a couple of days. . . . That night we ran into our first rainstorm. Usually you try to avoid a black squall, but in this case we made it our business to get into it and catch water for drinking. . . . Later we were able to catch more water and build up our supply. . . .”
“I pray to God every night of my life to be given the strength and power to continue my efforts to inspire in others the interest, the obligation and the responsibilities that we owe to this land for the sake of future generations – for my boys and girls – so that we can always look back when the candle of life burns low and say "Thank God I have contributed my best to the land that contributed so much to me.'"