A Veteran’s Day story

November 11, 2008

Sworn to silence by the military nearly 70 years ago, Anthony Acevedo finally gets to tell the story of how he survived a Nazi slave camp:

Anthony Acevedo thumbs through the worn, yellowed pages of his diary emblazoned with the words "A Wartime Log" on its cover. It’s a catalog of deaths and atrocities he says were carried out on U.S. soldiers held by Nazis at a slave labor camp during World War II — a largely forgotten legacy of the war.

Acevedo pauses when he comes across a soldier with the last name of Vogel.

"He died in my arms. He wouldn’t eat. He didn’t want to eat," says Acevedo, now 84 years old. "He said, ‘I want to die! I want to die! I want to die!’ "

The memories are still fresh, some 60 years later. Acevedo keeps reading his entries, scrawled on the pages with a Schaeffer fountain pen he held dear.

He was one of 350 U.S. soldiers held at Berga an der Elster, a satellite camp of the Nazis’ notorious Buchenwald concentration camp. The soldiers, working 12-hour days, were used by the German army to dig tunnels and hide equipment in the final weeks of the war. Less than half of the soldiers survived their captivity and a subsequent death march, he says.

Acevedo shows few emotions as he scans the pages of his diary. But when he gets to one of his final entries, the decades of pent-up pain, the horror witnessed by a 20-year-old medic, are too much.

"We were liberated today, April the 23, 1945," he reads.

His body shakes, and he begins sobbing. "Sorry," he says, tears rolling down his face. "I’m sorry."

Flag

 


The ‘Cuda speaks, one in a series

November 11, 2008

Matt Lauer of NBC was one of the first from the major media to interview Sarah Palin after her return to Alaska (Fox’s Greta van Susteren was the first.) Part one is the most interesting to me, as she discusses the slimy rumors being hurled her way. But part two has her discussion of the role of the media and her (somewhat) unspoken wish that she had been allowed to do more interviews in her first few weeks on the campaign trail. I consider the tight control placed on her by the McCain campaign then to be one of its big mistakes. Also, in her defense, I’ll point out that, after those first few weeks, she was more available to the press than Obama and Biden ever were.

Part one:

 

Part two:

 

And, as someone who likes to cook, I can appreciate that kitchen. Happy

(via Hot Air.)

 


Sensible

November 11, 2008

Jim Manzi on the tension between libertarian and social conservatives:

Both sides of these debates, I believe, have to recognize that many people who share the same country disagree in good faith, and are unlikely to be persuaded within our lifetimes. As I have argued at length, I think that the only workable compromise is not to try to force the creation of uniform national law when no national consensus on the morality of these issues exists. Instead, I believe that we should have an agenda of devolving as many of these social issues, as a matter of law, to as local a level as possible.

Politics, properly considered, has limited aims. Attempts to use it to create heaven on earth, whether motivated by secular or religious thinking, usually backfire. Fortunately, most practical people realize this. We should be looking to build political bridges across moral divides by lowering the temperature of such debates, and keeping our expectations of what politics can accomplish appropriately humble.

In other words, maximalist positions on the part of either secular or religious conservatives will guarantee a long-term minority for both. Hence my fear of a "purity war" in the Republican Party. As I believe Ronald Reagan once said, "Would you rather have half of what you want, or a hundred percent of nothing?" There’s a reason the Founders settled on a federalist framework for most social questions, and their wisdom still holds true.


Let’s not become Democrats

November 11, 2008

Can we at least wait until the man is inaugurated before we start exhibiting Obama Derangement Syndrome?

ODS is one of my Won’ts.

 LINKS: More from Ed Morrissey.