Connect with us

Politics

The heroic legacy of the Band of Brothers should be an inspiration to all Americans

Source image: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/heroic-legacy-band-brothers-should-be-an-inspiration-all-americans

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

This past July 3, 2022, a soft-spoken him him him Mississippi farmer named Bradford Freeman, age 97, quietly passed into eternity. This Veterans Day weekend, it’s worth remembering this American hero — and all he stood for.  

Significantly, Freeman was the last surviving member of Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne — the legendary World War II paratroopers known as the Band of Brothers.  

Our culture will be poorer without them. In an age where it’s become commonplace to be obnoxious and divisive, the Band of Brothers set the standard for noble living. During World War II, they battled oppression with courage and honor. In post-war America, they modeled service to our country with excellence, dignity and unity.  

MEET THE AMERICAN WHO INSPIRED THE NATION IN TWO WORLD WARS: CHRISTIAN SOLDIER SGT. ALVIN YORK

I spent more than six years interviewing the Band of Brothers and writing about them. I met many of them in person, along with their spouses, children and grandchildren, at reunions and in their homes.  

Bradford Freeman passed away in July, the last member of Easy Company.

Bradford Freeman passed away in July, the last member of Easy Company.
(PHOTO: Courtesy Joe Muccia)

They were the real deal. 

The Band of Brothers formed at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, under the tough and controversial Captain Herbert Sobel. After training stateside, the men rode the troop ship, Samaria, to Aldbourne, England, for further battle preparation.  

They parachuted into Normandy on D-Day and later jumped into Holland for Operation Market Garden.  

They fought their way through Belgium, France and Germany, survived overwhelming odds, liberated concentration camps, and drank a victory toast in April 1945 at Hitler’s hideout in the Alps.  

Along the way, they encountered horrors and victories and welded themselves into a family. They helped swing the tide of World War II, and ultimately the course of history.  

The first significant chronicle of their story was the 1992 book by historian Stephen Ambrose, “Band of Brothers.” In 2001, Tom Hanks and Stephen Spielberg turned Ambrose’s book into a ten-part HBO miniseries by the same name. The series won six Emmys and numerous other awards, and still runs frequently on various networks around the world.  

After the war, and particularly after the series soared, many of the men became household names. Their qualities became measures of greatness.  

Major Dick Winters was known for his impeccable leadership. He modeled grace under fire, solid character, and unswerving integrity.  

Band of Brothers veteran of Easy Company 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment Bradford Freeman attends the formal unveiling of a memorial plaque at Stansted Airport, Essex, commemorating those who served from the airport during World War II, July 13, 2009. (Photo by Chris Radburn - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

Band of Brothers veteran of Easy Company 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment Bradford Freeman attends the formal unveiling of a memorial plaque at Stansted Airport, Essex, commemorating those who served from the airport during World War II, July 13, 2009. (Photo by Chris Radburn – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)
(Chris Radburn – PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

“Wild” Bill Guarnere and Edward “Babe” Heffron were best friends who fought side by side through life’s hardest difficulties. Postwar, they appeared together at an uncountable number of events nationwide and overseas, constantly championing veteran causes and the value of freedom.  

Lt. Buck Compton had played baseball at UCLA with Jackie Robinson. After the war, Buck threw himself into public service and became an attorney and later a judge, known for his brilliance and fairness. He prosecuted Sirhan Sirhan for the murder of Bobby Kennedy.  

Shifty Powers, a backwoods machinist from the small coal-mining town of Clinchco, Virginia, proved that every person, no matter how unassuming, can lead an extraordinary life.  

When describing his former enemies, Powers famously said, “That man and I might have been good friends. We might’ve had a lot in common. He might have liked to fish. He might have liked to hunt. Course, they was doing what they was supposed to do, and I was trying to do what I was supposed to do. But under different circumstances, we might have been good friends.”   

And Freeman, the last brother? Following the war, he returned to the United States and married his childhood sweetheart. The couple had two daughters. He finished college and while operating a farm, worked as a mail carrier for more than 30 years. 

I met Freeman several times at various military gatherings, but per his wishes I never formally interviewed him for a book. He had already said all he wanted to say, he told me. 

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR OUR OPINION NEWSLETTER

He was perhaps best known for a brief mention in Ambrose’s book, when he responded to a 1990 letter from Winters, his commanding officer during the war. Winters asked Freeman if he could come visit at his home. Freeman wrote:  

“It would be a great honor for you to come to see us in Mississippi. We have a good shade to sit in summer and have a good heater for winter. About all that I do is garden and cut hay for cows in summer and feed in winter. Fish and hunt the rest of the time. I have a good place on the front porch to sit. Here’s hoping that you will come down sometime.” 

After the war, and particularly after the series soared, many of the men became household names. Their qualities became measures of greatness.  

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Winters did, and they had a good visit. Their brotherhood proved intact. 

The Band of Brothers will be greatly missed. Although every member of the company has now passed, the values that made them great have not. Excellence. Professionalism. Dignity. Humility. Courage. Honor. Unity. 

It’s a legacy we would do well to continue. 

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY MARCUS BROTHERTON

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/heroic-legacy-band-brothers-should-be-an-inspiration-all-americans

Politics

Arizona Republicans elect former Trump official Jeff DeWit to become next party chair, will replace Kelli Ward

Republicans in Arizona appointed Jeff DeWit as the party’s next chairman Saturday. The selection comes as Republicans in the battleground state hope to unite under new leadership and win back statewide elections.

DeWit, a former Trump aide who worked on both of his presidential campaigns, will replace Kelli Ward, a Trump ally who has embraced and echoed his election denial claims. 

He won 70% of the votes over several other nominees, including Steve Daniels, who vowed to drastically change the state’s election system by requiring all votes to take place in person on one day, with ballots counted by hand.

“I’m going to work for you, and we’re going to unify,” DeWit said after his victory. “And we’re going to get back to beating Democrats and winning elections.”

DEMOCRATIC ARIZONA GOV. KATIE HOBBS DEFENDS DECISION TO KEEP BUSSING MIGRANTS OUT OF STATE

Arizona Secretary of the Treasury Jeff DeWit arrives at Trump Tower on November 13, 2016 in New York City. 

Arizona Secretary of the Treasury Jeff DeWit arrives at Trump Tower on November 13, 2016 in New York City. 
(Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)

DeWit was supported by Kari Lake, who lost the race for governor but became an influential voice in the party; Mark Finchem, a former candidate for secretary of state; retired Gen. Michael Flynn and others. 

Lake said DeWit also received a last-minute endorsement from Trump, but the former president did not post the endorsement on social media, which he regularly does.

AZ GOV. KATIE HOBBS CREATES COMMISSION TO STUDY STATE’S PRISON PROBLEMS

During Ward’s four-year tenure as party chair, Republicans lost three U.S. Senate races and elections for governor, secretary of state and attorney general. She has called for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate newly elected Gov. Katie Hobbs for potential wrongdoing during her campaign. She has also faced criticism over the party’s spending.

Arizona Republican party chairwoman Kelli Ward speaks during a get out the vote campaign rally on November 07, 2022 in Prescott, Arizona. 

Arizona Republican party chairwoman Kelli Ward speaks during a get out the vote campaign rally on November 07, 2022 in Prescott, Arizona. 
(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

DeWit was elected state treasurer in 2014 and resigned in 2018, just before his term ended as he was confirmed as chief financial officer of NASA under Trump. He led Trump’s Arizona campaign in 2016 and was chief operating officer of Trump’s 2020 campaign.

Arizona Democrats elected Yolanda Bejarano, a senior national official in the Communications Workers of America union, to be their party chair.

The selection was the first contested election for the Democratic chair in 12 years. 

Bejarano was backed by most of the state’s elected Democrats, but Hobbs supported Steve Gallardo, the only Democrat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

U.S. Sen. Kyrtsen Sinema, D-AZ, speaks at a news conference after the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act at the Capitol Building on November 29, 2022 in Washington, DC. In a 61-36 vote, the measure would provide federal recognition and protection for same-sex and interracial marriages. 

U.S. Sen. Kyrtsen Sinema, D-AZ, speaks at a news conference after the Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act at the Capitol Building on November 29, 2022 in Washington, DC. In a 61-36 vote, the measure would provide federal recognition and protection for same-sex and interracial marriages. 
(Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

Outgoing Democratic Chair Raquel Teran declined to run for another term. She is also looking to run for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Rep. Ruben Gallego, who’s running for the Senate. The seat is safely Democratic.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The 2024 election includes several races with national implications including the presidential race and independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s seat. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Politics

Trump joins Biden, Obama in condemning ‘horrible’ beating of Tyre Nichols: ‘Never should have happened’

Former President Donald Trump joined the chorus of those responding to graphic footage from the bodycams of five Memphis police officers who repeatedly beat 29-year-old Tyre Nichols. The footage was released to the public Friday, Jan. 27.

“I thought it was terrible. He was in such trouble. He was just being pummeled. Now that should never have happened,” Trump said during an interview with The Associated Press Saturday.

The footage shows the officers punching, kicking, pepper spraying and tasing Nichols, a 29-year-old Black father and delivery driver, following a traffic stop on Jan. 7. 

He died three days later, on Jan. 10. The officers were charged with his murder.

TYRE NICHOLS’ LAST WORDS HEARD ON NEWLY RELEASED BODYCAM FOOTAGE: ‘I’M JUST TRYING TO GET HOME’

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Columbia, S.C. 

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at the South Carolina Statehouse, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, in Columbia, S.C. 
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump, who is running for the White House in 2024, said hearing Nichols repeatedly call out to his mother during the assault was particularly difficult. He said it was “a very sad moment.”

“That was really the point that got me the most, to be honest with you,” the former president said.

Trump said Memphis police were taking a “strong step” in disbanding the SCORPION police unit involved in the attack, which was created to target violent offenders in areas beset by high crime. SCORPION stands for Street Crimes Operation to Restore Peace in Our Neighborhoods.

TENNESSEE SHERIFF OPENS NEW INVESTIGATION INTO TWO DEPUTIES AFTER TYRE NICHOLS BODYCAM VIDEO RELEASE

It has been “permanently” deactivated as a result of the Jan. 7 incident, Memphis officials announced.

Trump also called the video “pretty conclusive,” as the officers face murder charges.

He also suggested the traffic violation was not the officers’ motivation for the beating.

“Look, the tape was perhaps not totally conclusive but, to me, it was pretty conclusive and it was vicious and violent and hard to believe — over a traffic violation,” Trump said.

Warning: The contents of the below video are graphic in nature.

Trump previously discouraged violent protests that erupted across the country in the summer of 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which he also condemned.

“When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” Trump tweeted, sparking backlash. The tweet was also flagged by Twitter as glorifying violence.

REACTION SWIFT AFTER TYRE NICHOLS POLICE FOOTAGE RELEASED; ‘THESE MEN WERE STREET FIGHTING,’ FORMER COP SAYS

The former president defended his comments as attempting to discourage escalation, not a call to shoot those who are looting.

He later centered his 2020 reelection bid around “law and order” and supporting law enforcement.

Former President Donald Trump responded to graphic footage from the bodycam of Memphis police officers who beat Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black father who later died of his injuries. 

Former President Donald Trump responded to graphic footage from the bodycam of Memphis police officers who beat Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black father who later died of his injuries. 
(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

Trump, while in office, signed an executive order encouraging better police practices.

Former President Barack Obama also responded to the Tyre Nichols bodycam footage.

In a joint tweet, Barack and Michelle Obama said that Nichols’ death is a “painful reminder” for America.

“The vicious, unjustified beating of Tyre Nichols and his ultimate death at the hands of five Memphis police officers is just the latest, painful reminder of how far America still has to go in fixing how we police our streets,” the couple said.

President Joe Biden also addressed the video.

“My heart goes out to Tyre Nichols’ family and to Americans in Memphis and across the country who are grieving this tremendously painful loss. There are no words to describe the heartbreak and grief of losing a beloved child and young father,” he wrote in a statement Friday night.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Continue Reading

Politics

Trump appears to take aim at potential 2024 GOP rivals, says he doesn’t have much ‘competition’

Former President Donald Trump took aim at his potential rivals for the Republican presidential nomination as he kicked off a new phase of this 2024 White House campaign with a stop in the state that first launched him towards the presidency.

Pointing to his 2020 renomination as the sitting president, Trump on Saturday recollected during a speech in the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state of New Hampshire that he didn’t have much competition. 

Then, as he looked to a potential 2024 GOP primary field that might eventually include rivals such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, and other well known Republicans, Trump asserted that “I don’t think we have competition this time either to be honest.”

The former president also pushed back against recent criticism from political pundits that the first months of his third White House campaign have been anything but impressive.

TRUMP STOPS IN NEW HAMPSHIRE, SOUTH CAROLINA, KICK OFF NEW PHASE FOR HIS 2024 CAMPAIGN

Former President Donald Trump gives the headline address at the New Hampshire GOP annual meeting, in Salem, New Hampshire on Jan. 28, 2023. Trump is joined by outgoing NHGOP chair Steve Stepanek (right), who is joining Trump's campaign as a senior adviser in New Hampshire

Former President Donald Trump gives the headline address at the New Hampshire GOP annual meeting, in Salem, New Hampshire on Jan. 28, 2023. Trump is joined by outgoing NHGOP chair Steve Stepanek (right), who is joining Trump’s campaign as a senior adviser in New Hampshire
(Fox News)

“They said he’s not campaigning… maybe he lost his step,” Trump said as he imitated his critics. 

The former president then stressed that “I’m more committed now than I ever was.”

Trump made his comments as he gave the headline address to hundreds of party leaders, elected officials and activists attending the New Hampshire GOP’s annual meeting. 

New Hampshire, which for a century has held the first primary in the race for the White House, was the scene of Trump’s first election victory in 2016, igniting him towards the GOP presidential nomination and eventually the White House. 

2024 WATCH: TRUMP’S IN — HERE’S WHO ELSE MAY JOIN THE GOP PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY FIELD

Trump’s visit to New Hampshire — first reported by Fox News earlier this week — was his first stop of the day. He later headed for South Carolina, another crucial early voting state that holds the third contest in the GOP’s presidential nominating calendar, directly after New Hampshire.

The Saturday afternoon gathering South Carolina’s state capitol building — where he is expected to announce his leadership team in the Palmetto State with Sen. Lindsey Graham and Gov. Henry McMaster on hand — will be Trump’s first 2024 campaign event since announcing his candidacy in mid-November at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida.

Former President Donald Trump (left), after giving the headline address at the New Hampshire GOP annual meeting, in Salem, New Hampshire on Jan. 28, 2023. Trump is joined by outgoing NHGOP chair Steve Stepanek (center), who is joining Trump's campaign as a senior adviser in New Hampshire, and by RNC committee member Chris Ager (right), who is succeeding Stepanek as chair

Former President Donald Trump (left), after giving the headline address at the New Hampshire GOP annual meeting, in Salem, New Hampshire on Jan. 28, 2023. Trump is joined by outgoing NHGOP chair Steve Stepanek (center), who is joining Trump’s campaign as a senior adviser in New Hampshire, and by RNC committee member Chris Ager (right), who is succeeding Stepanek as chair
(Fox News)

As he builds his leadership teams in the early voting states, the former president announced that Steve Stepanek is “coming on board as the senior adviser for my New Hampshire campaign”  

Stepanek, a former state lawmaker and businessman who co-chaired Trump’s 2016 campaign in the Granite State, on Saturday finished up four years steering the state party committee.

The former president received a very warm welcome from the crowd in New Hampshire, as Trump supporters and allies have expanded their grip over the state party in recent years.

FIRST ON FOX: TRUMP STOPPING IN NEW HAMPSHIRE AHEAD OF SOUTH CAROLINA ON SATURDAY

“We’re starting right here as a candidate for president…. This is just the beginning of our agenda. I look forward to returning many times,” Trump touted.

And he predicted that “one year from now we will win the New Hampshire primary and the with the help of the good people of this state… we’ll take back the White House.” 

While Trump’s the only major Republican to date to launch a 2024 presidential campaign, and while he remains the most popular and influential politician in the GOP and the party’s most ferocious fundraiser when it comes to energizing the grassroots.

Former President Donald Trump announces his candidacy for president in 2024, at a campaign event at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. 

Former President Donald Trump announces his candidacy for president in 2024, at a campaign event at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida, on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2022. 
(Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

But political pundits from both the left and the right torched his campaign launch, and he’s been criticized by Democrats and some Republicans for controversial actions and comments he’s made during the past two months. Plus, in the wake of a lackluster performance by the GOP in the midterm elections — when the party underperformed in what may expected to be a red wave election — Trump has also been blamed for elevating polarizing Republican nominees who ended up losing in November. 

While he didn’t take sides in New Hampshire’s combustible GOP primaries in September, the MAGA-style candidates who won the U.S. Senate and both congressional nominations went down in flames in November’s general election.

DESANTIS TOPS TRUMP IN CRUCIAL PRIMARY STATE POLL

Two days before the former president’s arrival in the Granite State, a new public opinion poll by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center suggested that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida held a double-digit lead over Trump in a hypothetical 2024 GOP presidential nomination matchup in the first primary state.

DeSantis, whom pundits expect will declare his candidacy for president later this year but who has yet to say if he’ll launch a campaign, stood at 42% support in the survey of likely GOP presidential primary voters in New Hampshire, with Trump at 30%. The poll is energizing DeSantis supporters — including two outside political groups with no ties to governor, one national and one New Hampshire based — which are trying to convince the Florida governor to run for president. Both groups set up booths at the NHGOP meeting in Salem.

Until recently, Trump was the clear and overwhelming front-runner in the early 2024 GOP presidential nomination polls. But in a handful of national surveys released last month, Trump trailed DeSantis, whose standing with conservatives across the country has soared over the past three years. DeSantis was overwhelmingly re-elected in November for a second term leading Florida, a one-time battleground state that’s turned increasingly red the past two cycles.

WHY THE REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION RACE IS OFF TO A SLOW START

Trump allies and supporters highlight that public opinion polling has long undercounted the former president’s support, dating back to his first campaign for the White House in 2016.

And Trump, during his comments in New Hampshire, touted his poll position in numerous surveys, claiming that “we are so far ahead in the polls.”

The former president took aim at his successor in the White House, criticizing President Biden on multiple fronts, including the current president’s proposal to move New Hampshire down a notch in the Democratic Party’s nominating calendar, which has infuriated both Democrats and Republicans in the Granite State.

US President Joe Biden speaks has pushed to move New Hampshire's primary further back in the presidential nominating calendar.

US President Joe Biden speaks has pushed to move New Hampshire’s primary further back in the presidential nominating calendar.
(Mandel Ngan)

Republicans are not altering their nominating calendar, keeping New Hampshire second in their schedule after the Iowa caucuses.

“I make this solemn pledge — when I’m back in the White House I will ensure that New Hampshire remains the home of the first in the nation Republican primary for many, many years to come,” Trump highlighted.

Trump’s stops in New Hampshire and South Carolina appear to be a move to plant a flag as his campaign starts to move into a higher gear.

“It’s going to be the first of many trips,” Trump campaign senior adviser Chris LaCivita told Fox News. “It’s something we’ve been looking forward to do. The early bird gets the worm. It’s all about getting out, organizing, getting your people together, getting them motivated, getting them excited.”

LaCivita emphasized that “we’re starting early and starting aggressive and putting this organization together, I think bodes well for the future.”

While Trump was the first candidate to announce, the field for the GOP presidential nomination will likely soon grow. Some of the likely or potential contenders hail from the two states Trump was stopping in on Saturday. Former two-term South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who served as ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina appear to moving towards launching possible campaigns. And in New Hampshire, Republican Gov. Chris Sununu is also mulling a bid.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP 

“New Hampshire is full of tire kickers. We love to put candidates through their paces and Donald Trump is no exception to that. He’s going to have to work just like any other candidate who wants to win New Hampshire. He’s certainly shown he can do that. He did that in 2016 pretty handily. And he has without question the best infrastructure of any candidate, so he’s well positioned,” veteran New Hampshire conservative activist Greg Moore told Fox News. 

But Moore, the longtime state director for Americans for Prosperity, emphasized that Trump is “still going to have to prove himself to New Hampshire voter just like every other candidate.”

Continue Reading

Trending