Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Day for Heroes, chapter 1: Alvin York

One of America's greatest wartime heroes of all time distinguished himself during the "war to end all wars." Many of you, as did I, first learned about the valiant exploits of the "conscientious objector" of World War I from the movie starring Gary Cooper. Recently, Sgt. Alvin C. York made headlines again as the Stars & Stripes featured a search for the exact location of his heroic deeds:
Sgt. Alvin York; photo courtesy of the U.S. National ArchivesSgt. Alvin York, then a corporal and a crack shot, did indeed take out a group of German machine-gunners, killing 25 German soldiers and capturing 132 others with only seven other surviving U.S. soldiers, a Springfield rifle and a .45-caliber pistol for help.


According to biographies, the devout Christian who once applied for status as a conscientious objector remained ambivalent about killing enemy soldiers and said he did so only to save more lives.
But precisely where in the French Argonne region, near the little town of Chatel Chehery, York performed his feats in October 1918 has never been known.
One U.S. Army officer and a separate group of Tennesseans and other academics are both working to locate the spot for history's sake. The French mayor of Chatel Chehery is supporting both groups' efforts, mostly in the hopes for increased tourism to the region.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

great post - i love that movie!

4/28/2006 12:10 PM  

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