"If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities" --Maya Angelou, Poems

Friday, December 4, 2015

A HERO'S STORY

I heard a story on NPR’s All Things Considered while driving a couple days ago (12/2/15) that made me pull the car over and take a few notes while the details unfolded (I keep a pen and notepad handy in the glove box for such occasions!).

Hearing this story just a week after the release of my novel made it all the more bittersweet.

Robbie Edmonds, a World War II sergeant, was just named Righteous Among the Nations by the Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Center for his valor 70 years ago. He is the first U.S. Soldier to be awarded this honor, given to non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust. Edmonds was in a German POW camp and was ordered by a Nazi commander to turn in his fellow Jewish soldiers, presumably to be sent to death or labor camps.  "Have the Jewish men step forward or I will shoot you on the spot," the enraged commander screamed. 

With a gun to his head, Sergeant Edmonds refused to turn in his fellow soldiers, stating, “We are all Jews here.” The Nazi commander backed down and many men were saved, some still alive to share the story today.

The story may have died with Sergeant Edmonds twenty years ago until six years ago when his son, Chris Edmonds, came across a news article that mentioned his father. Chris then contacted POWS to confirm the details. Chris said that when he asked his dad about his time in WW II, his response was often, “Son, there are some things we just don’t need to talk about.”

Now Chris knows the extent of his dad's bravery and that he was a hero.

Call me a sentimental; my emotions are high with a book release after so many years of work and I sobbed hearing this story. I am truly blessed that I was able to find out the details of my father’s amazing life, as I consider him a hero too. And his story has been published for me to share. 

Thanks to NPR’s Emily Harris for providing the report.

Here's the full story: U.S. Soldier Honored Posthumously For Protecting Jewish POWs in 1945

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