“The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.???-Prov 20:29
I searched online for “World War II Veteran” recently. On the first few pages I expected to find tales of heroism and great sacrifice, but instead found several stories that should move us all.
The first story is of the beating of WWII veteran Delbert Belton outside of an Eagles Lodge in Spokane, Washington. The thugs who apparently did this ???fell in with the wrong people??? according to a family member who elaborated in saying there was not much to do during summertime. Apparently not, unless it has to do with beating an old man. Now there will be plenty of time for boredom for these thugs, let’s hope, in prison. Only God can save these killers. They are not worth repeating.
Mr. Belton survived some of the most vicious fighting of WW II on the island of Okinawa; a place widely considered a prelude to the invasion of Japan that thankfully never happened. Okinawa was uniquely bloody and brutal in what may have been the most vicious theatre of WW II. Japanese resistance was so fanatical that kamikaze attacks were common and Japanese civilians threw themselves off cliffs in suicide. This was the battle in which Delbert ???Shorty??? Belton fought and was wounded.
President Truman dropped the atomic bomb to stop the madness of the Pacific War and prevent an invasion of Japan; an invasion that would have been twice the size of the D-Day invasion of Europe. He saved hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of American and Japanese lives by ending the war immediately. Taking a lesson from the older generation, we need the same moral clarity today in our prisons and in our schools to prevent the dishonoring of the older generation and the America they fought to protect. We also need chivalry as Mr. Belton had. The night Mr. Belton was killed, he was waiting outside the Lodge to protect and escort a woman so she wouldn???t have to walk by herself.
The second story is of Andy Nowicki, another WW II Veteran who is a recipient of the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts for wounds received as an infantryman in Europe. Andy lives in Newington, Connecticut. The Army, as was practice, gave cigarettes as rations to soldiers back then, and many were hooked on those cigarettes. Andy has tried quitting smoking but cannot. He has larger concerns anyway; comforting his 90-year-old wife, Leona, who has Alzheimer???s.
The Newington Housing Authority, in their infinite wisdom, believe it is a good idea to toss out Andy because he, who is also immobile, smokes too close to the building he lives in. These politically correct ???leaders??? are symptomatic of the lack of common sense exhibited by many in positions of authority. Newington Housing Authority, another independent agency (where have we heard that before), hide behind statute as opposed to taking a stand for the right thing; a stand Delbert Belton and Andy Nowicki took to WWII.
These housing ???officials??? slouch more and more everyday toward the tyranny we fight against in every generation. Municipalities and agencies are using ???ordinances,??? ???planned developments,??? and other terms as a cover for taking property rights, and common sense, from people and situations. Perhaps the Newington Housing Authority should remember that if it were not for Delbert Belton and Andy Nowicki, they might be speaking a different language and worrying about a lot more than smoking ordinances.
Larry Provost works in Washington, D.C.. He previously worked as a Capitol Hill staffer and as Director of Commuter Affairs at Liberty University after interning with The Marine Corps History Division and FOX News Channel in New York City.