Maybe some of you are also World War II history readers. And maybe you also saw the HBO series “Band of Brothers”. This was an excellent adaptation of Stephen Ambrose’s book of the same title.
The book and series follow the brave men of Easy Company through the war as they jumped and fought with the 101st Airborne Division from the D-Day invasion of Normandy, to the failed “Operation Market Garden” in Holland, and to the incredible heroic defense of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.
I have a particular personal interest in the Battle of the Bulge because my father-in-law served in the 318th Infantry Regiment in Patton’s Third Army. The 318th was the infantry support for the 4th Armored Division as they broke through the German lines to relieve Bastogne. I had lost one second cousin killed and another captured in that same battle.
We hear them rightly referred to as the “Greatest Generation” for all they went through. They grew up in the Great Depression and fought to victory in the Second World War. They saw our country endure hardships we can only imagine in our worst case scenarios of Republican rule.
While Republicans under Herbert Hoover were collapsing the economy and George W. Bush’s grandfather Prescott Bush was doing business with Nazi Germany, other Americans were re-electing Franklin D. Roosevelt. Apart from the Americans in uniform, those are the other members of the Greatest Generation to whom we owe a great debt. If not for their votes, we’d have no Social Security, no New Deal, and perhaps Republicans would have sided with Germany before the war. Nobody likes to talk about it, but there were large Nazi rallies in the US before the war.
I want to share with you the words of one member of that Band of Brothers who both fought in the war and voted for FDR. He was wounded in Normandy and again in Holland. Shortly before he was shot in the leg, he voted for the first time in his life. His words seem to ring truer today than back in October of 1944. Here is what he wrote about his first time voting in his book, “Parachute Infantry”.
My First Vote
I had to walk almost two miles to cast my ballot, but I would have walked ten, if necessary, because this was my first vote-I was 22 in June-and I had always wanted to cast it for Roosevelt, the greatest President we had ever had and the only one who ever gave the working man a break.
Roosevelt had faced and overcome the two great crises America had ever suffered: the worst depression in history and the world’s biggest war. He was a politician, as crafty and conniving as any, for politics is a cesspool of lying lawyers, but his work was greater than the man, and the country was better for it.
The rich Republicans hated Roosevelt for helping the working man, for encouraging the labor unions to wring a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work out of employers who had never heard of such a thing before and for putting into effect fair employment practices that they considered outrageously Socialistic.
Roosevelt helped the unemployed when Herbert Hoover, the last Republican, an engineer who never quite understood humanity, had said, “Let every man help his brother,” when he knew perfectly well that the rich weren’t about to help the poor, never had and never would.
I had grown up with Republicans and gone to school and college with them, and sickened by their selfishness, their cold avarice, and lofty contempt for the common people, had early sworn to vote for the Democrats, who, for all their rotten political faults, were more concerned with the welfare of the country as a whole.
David Kenyon Webster - Holland 1944, with Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
A lot of us are tired of Obama and the Democrats, with their endless capitulation and “pre-compromise” with Republicans. A lot of us are ready to give up, and it’s hard to not sympathize with those of us frustrated by politics.
But, I for one don’t want this man’s vision to die. He fought for our right to continue the struggle against those in our country who do not want what is best for us. There is an entire party that puts money ahead of country. I will never stop doing everything I can to stop Republicans from destroying our freedoms, our economy, and our future, even if it means voting for those Democrats with their “rotten political faults”.
Too much depends on it.