One of the folks who died this 2011 year was news reporter Andy Rooney. Yeah the sloppy, grumpy old rambling man who you just never knew what he might say next on some of his reports. But here are some facts you might have never known about Andy. On the morning of July 18, 1944, Andy Rooney wasn't talking about all the pairs of sunglasses he'd lost or speculating about whether there really was a "Mrs. Smith" behind Mrs. Smith's Pies. Instead, Staff Sgt. Rooney, a combat reporter with Stars and Stripes, was dodging mortar rounds alongside members of the 116th Infantry Regiment as they attacked the Nazi stronghold at Saint-Lo in Normandy. After a grueling three-week siege, the 116th and other American outfits were pushing Adolf Hitler's Third Parachute Division back through Saint-Lo's decimated streets. Andy later won an Air Medal for going on five bombing raids over the Reich, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his duty at Saint-Lo under small arms and open range artillery fire. He gathered, without regard to his own safety, first-hand descriptive materials for a complete and accurate story. Andy was so ambivalent about the commendation that he never mentioned it to his Stars and Stripes colleagues. Many years later during a segment on Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation, Rooney stated that he had origninally been opposed to World War II because he was a pacifist. He recounted that opinion after what he saw in concentration camps, and was ashamed that he had opposed the war and permanently changed his opinions about whether "just wars" exist. =========================================== Here are a few things written by Andy Rooney, a man who had the gift of saying so much with so few words. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I've learned. That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person. I've learned. That when you're in love, it shows. I've learned. That just one person saying to me, "You've made my day!" makes my day. I've learned. That having a child fall asleep in your arms is one of the most peaceful feelings in the world. I've learned. That being kind is more important than being right. I've learned. That I can always pray for someone when I don't have the strength to help him in some other way. I've learned. That no matter how serious your life requires you to be, everyone needs a friend to act goofy with. I've learned. That life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer it gets to the end, the faster it goes. I've learned. That we should be glad God doesn't give us everything we ask for. I've learned. That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular. I've learned. That to ignore the facts does not change the facts. I've learned. That when you plan to get even with someone, you are only letting that person continue to hurt you. I've learned. That love, not time, heals all wounds. I've learned. That the easiest way for me to grow as a person is to surround myself with people smarter than I am. I've learned. That everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. I've learned. That life is tough, but I'm tougher. I've learned. That opportunities are never lost; someone will take the ones you miss. I've learned. That when you "harbor" bitterness, happiness will "dock" elsewhere. I've learned. That I wish I could have told my Mom that I love her one more time before she passed away. I've learned. That one should keep his words both soft and tender, because tomorrow he may have to eat them. I've learned. That a smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. I've learned. That when your newly born grandchild holds your little finger in his little fist, you're hooked for life. I've learned. That everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it.