Friday, October 23, 2009
On the Day Michael Crichton Was Born
Today Michael Crichton would have been 67 years old.
I felt his absence the first thing this morning, when my clock radio went off. The station always lists the famous people having birthdays that day. And Michael Crichton wasn’t on that list anymore. There’s also a section in the newspaper of famous people’s birthdays, and he’s not there either.
I remember starting threads wishing him a happy birthday on the message board on his official website a few times. I hope he enjoyed them. He never posted to the board himself, though the administrator told us that he read the messages there frequently.
There are a number of important events that occurred and famous people who were born on October 23. You can check it out at Wikipedia.
But I find myself taking note of an important event that occurred on October 23, 1942, the very day Michael Crichton was born.
The Second Battle of El Alamein
On October 23, 1942, Allied troops, under the command of British general Bernard Montgomery, attacked German troops under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel in North Africa. While some accounts list the battle as ending on November 5, 1942, Rommel gave the order to retreat on November 4, which effectively ended the battle.
Michael Crichton died on November 4, 2008.
The Allied victory at El Alamein prevented Nazi Germany from gaining control of the Suez Canal and the oil fields in the Middle East. Winston Churchill said, "Before Alamein we never had a victory. After Alamein we never had a defeat."
Michael Crichton’s life and the Second Battle of El Alamein both began on the same day. Both endured intense struggles that resulted in ultimate triumph. Both were very significant, though in different ways.
And Michael Crichton fought the battles he felt needed to be fought.