We just recently celebrated Armistice Day in the United States. So I thought that today would be a good day to post an interesting story I heard the other day:
It was 1944. The Man Who Never Was had already landed, and so had a lot of Allied troops. Now, they were trying to link up, but a single unite of German paratroopers managed to hold out for months.
Local refugees hid in the Abbey of Montecassino; the edifice had been around since 1394. Unfortunately, the Allied forces guessed that the Germans were hiding in the Abbey. Bombers publverized the building. Although the archives of the abbey were evacuated by the Germans at the start of the battle, many refugees died in the bombings.
The Allied victory at Montecassino opened the way for the Allied occupation of Rome. This marked the beginning of the end for the war with Nazi Germany, since it was the first Allied occupation of a major capital city.
This photograph was taken during the battle of Montecassino. These American soldiers were with Company B, from the 753rd Tank Battalion.
My friend Peter DePuydt, reference librarian at Elizabethtown College, writes:
Uhlrich died a few months later. Before Harold died, George DePuydt promised he would find Harold's family. Now, after 60 years, he finally has.
Just look at their eyes.
Pete promised to tell me more about his father's purple heart, about Uhlrich's death, and about his dad's reunion with Uhlrich's daughter. I'll try to post them.
Today's Music: The Last Full Measure of Devotion. It's for all those who, like Uhlrich, have given their lives for the freedom of the world. And for heroes like George DePuydt, who gave no less yet still survived, I present, "Who Are the Brave."