This is one of the best scenes in the whole movies history. And that’s because of the brilliant performance by Ronald Lee Ermey. Unfortunately, Ronald Lee Ermey has passed away on April 15, 2018, at the age of 74. He played a few more roles in other movies, but I think this is by far his best contribution to the cinema. Probably, because he was a drill instructor in the United States Marine Corps in real life.
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the world famous AK-47 assault rifle, has passed away today, at the age of 94. He was a true genius and a patriot of his country. Coming from a very simple family, with very little education, after serving as a tank mechanic and later as a tank commander, after being wounded, he designed more than 150 models of small weapons – rifles, assault rifles, machine guns, etc.
Blame the Nazi Germans for making me become a gun designer … I always wanted to construct agriculture machinery.
Such were the times, I guess – growing up in the post Civil War, Revolution and First World War country, serving during the Second World War and seeing all horrors and dangers first hand, his peaceful mind was turned the other way.
I’m proud of my invention, but I’m sad that it is used by terrorists … I would prefer to have invented a machine that people could use and that would help farmers with their work — for example a lawn mower.
Looking into his engineering genius, I see the good old principle of keeping things simple:
When a young man, I read somewhere the following: God the Almighty said, ‘All that is too complex is unnecessary, and it is simple that is needed’ … So this has been my lifetime motto – I have been creating weapons to defend the borders of my fatherland, to be simple and reliable.
Today, Cyprus is mourning the death of Glafcos Clerides. I’m not much into politics in any country, but I did like him. He was the President back in 1996 when I came to Cyprus, and he remained so during my first few years here. As I said, I didn’t care much for politics, but I felt the good vibe. And even years after he left from major TV news, it was always pleasant to see him on an occasion – always respectful and positive, even in old age.
I’ve spoken to quite a few people about Clerides and I seem to get mixed feedback. Some people liked him, some didn’t. But the common theme seemed to be respect. You can agree or disagree with his political views and his involvement in different movements and initiatives, but, I think, nobody can say that he was a slacker or a silly guy. He believed in something and he was pushing it. He worked a lot, and he has achieved plenty.
Also, he did plenty before he became active in Cyprus politics. For example, during the World War II he was a pilot in Royal Air Force. In 1942 he was shot down over Germany and was captured, spending the rest of the war years a prisoner of war. His military activity has been noticed and he was mentioned in dispatches.
As I said, I don’t really care much for the political games. But I for one will miss this charming old guy. Rest in peace, Glafkos, and thank you so much for that you have done.