Leslie was the fifth of seven sons to parents who immigrated to the U.S. from England when he was four years old.  He was destined to be an entertainer.  He was 12 years old when he started performing on the street.

Over a career that spanned 80 years, he appeared in 54 movies.  He was a comedian known for connecting with the audience in his jokes.  He performed on the Vaudeville circuit and was on the radio.  He wrote 14 books and hosted the Academy Awards 19 times.

For all of the performances he gave, the most memorable were for the United Service Organizations (USO) entertaining active duty military.  He made 57 tours, many during war times and near the front lines.  The USO shows were must see TV and made Leslie (Bob) Hope a symbol of support for our military.

A signature moment in the USO shows was the closing, when Bob Hope and other entertainers would say thanks for the memories with words adapted for the time and the setting of the performance.

Few people who were entertained by Bob Hope have much of a memory of the movie, the comedy routine, or the TV performance.  But for the soldiers at the USO performances, the memories are very vivid.

Memories are like that.  We remember special moments and our emotions at the time.  Good memories will often get us through difficult moments in our life.  The USO shows created positive memories for soldiers when much of their experience they would like to forget and rarely talk about.

Each of us can create good memories for others.  These are memories when we contributed something to their life that can’t be forgotten.  In many cases, others will remember the words we said, the embrace we share, or the tears in our eyes as we tried to help them.

As we pass through life, these memories of those who helped us and of those who we helped will be more valuable than any possessions, honors, or titles we may have.

The ironic thing about these memories are that they are rarely planned or many not even seem special at the time.  They are spontaneous moments when we show our humanity to another.

Perhaps the best gift one person can give to another is to say:  “Thanks for the memory.”

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                “So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.”

– Helen Keller

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.