When the president decided against going to Paris to join the other world leaders in showing solidarity against terrorism by participating in a march the decision created a great deal of bad press for the administration. The complaints and criticism eventually lead the president to send Secretary of State John F. Kerry to Paris to apologize for not marching and what better way to apologize and show that the US is firmly with one of our major allies than have the United States Secretary of State bring along a troubadour to sing the message that, hey France, “You’ve got a friend”?
When you’re down and troubled and you need a helping hand
and nothing, whoa, nothing is going right.
Close your eyes and think of me and soon I will be there to brighten up even your darkest nights.
You just call out my name, and you know where ever I am
I’ll come running to see you again.
Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you have to do is call and I’ll be there, yeah, yeah,
you’ve got a friend.
I couldn’t imagine a more ridiculous moment in world diplomacy but then I did a little research and found out that Secretary John F. Kerry was simply copying something that had been attempted years before by the United States.
In the dark days of 1940 the world saw Nazi Germany invade France in the spring while the German Luftwaffe flew nightly bombing raids over England. Both France and Great Britain pleaded with the United States but the US steadfastly decided to keep out of directly entering the conflict. America was there to support but not really help.
Franklin Roosevelt, feeling the pressure of a citizenry which was outraged by Germany’s actions, wanted to show support for both Great Britain and France and decided to send Secretary of State Cordell Hull to Europe to meet with both Winston Churchill and Charles De Gaulle.
Seeing that this was a delicate operation that needed more than just words, handshakes and a few photographs Secretary Hull planned to take Frank Sinatra on the trip to serenade the two European leaders with a popular tune that would bring a smile to their lips and make their spirits soar: “Sunny Side Up”.
Keep your funny side up, up,
Let your laughter come through, do!
Stand up on your legs,
Be like two fried eggs,
Keep your sunny side up!
Secretary Hull’s trip to Europe with Frank Sinatra never came about because it was learned that the Germans planned to torpedo the transport carrying the Secretary and the singer. Now here is where things get a little foggy. From the archive materials it cannot be determined if the Germans broke the coded messages about the trip or if Winston Churchill tipped off The Führer.
What is known is that the Croon-a-Tune tour never came about and so had no effect on World War Two. The US impact on the struggle came with the nation’s direct participation in total war that completely destroyed the enemy.
Isn’t that the way you expect this current story will have to end?