An apology to Private Parman
by Kevin Foley
October 11, 2013 12:00 AM | 1561 views | 13 13 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dear Private Parman,

In a recent European tour, my wife and I visited you at the American Cemetery and Memorial in Luxembourg. Your grave was one of thousands but it attracted our attention because it was the only one adorned with fresh flowers.

Somebody near and dear to you, your widow perhaps, or a sibling, or maybe your child, still thinks of you, still holds you in their heart.

I didn’t know you, of course, because you died on March 18, 1945, eight years before I was born. I see on the white marble cross that marks your final resting place your first name was David and you were from Missouri. Maybe you were a farmer or a teacher or a young man just out of high school before you fought with the 315th Infantry, 87th Division of the United States Army.

Luxembourg was at the center of the great fight in which you perished. We now reverently call it the Battle of the Bulge. We thought the Germans were defeated in late 1944. Their cities and production centers were nearly all leveled by then, but Hitler had one last card to play. He massed his men and tanks at the center of the thin American line and pushed forward. American talk of being home by Christmas was obliterated in a hurricane of German shells and bullets.

You watched all of this unfold in shock like most of the other boys around you. But undermanned and outgunned, in the bitter cold and snow, you guys fought like hell at places like Bastogne and St. Vith and Foy, refusing to yield to the German onslaught.

We have never forgotten. We will never forget.

You were among the 90,000 Americans killed, wounded or missing during the Bulge. There are reminders everywhere of this epic conflict but none so moving as the beautiful, austere patch of green a grateful Luxembourg gave our nation so you and your fellow patriots could be interred on American soil. Attendants there carefully, almost lovingly, trim the grass around the headstones with hand clippers one blade at a time.

I don’t know where or how you fell. I pray you didn’t suffer. The 87th entered Germany the day after you died and the enemy surrendered a month later. It’s heartbreaking to think the war was almost over and that you never returned home to the heartland and the loved one who still sends flowers.

It’s nearly 70 years on now and our nation is still the greatest on earth thanks in large part to all you and your buddies did on that European battlefield. But America is also beset with a malignancy you could probably never imagine having seen Americans desperately fighting alongside one another to protect the principles for which America stands.

Today, incredibly, we have politicians that would prefer to destroy the America you fought for than amicably reconcile differences of opinion on how to govern. The rule of law for which you fought and died has become the rule of anarchy.

The will of the people as expressed in free and fair elections now counts for nothing to a small group of radicals in Congress if results don’t deliver the outcomes they want. When they don’t like legislation lawfully passed and upheld, these same extremists resort to political extortion to get what they couldn’t achieve through Constitutional means. They are even suppressing the sacred right to vote.

You probably had a nobler ideal in mind when you went into battle, one that placed what was best for all Americans ahead of what was best for just a few. We aren’t living up to that ideal today and for that I am profoundly sorry.

Kevin Foley is a public relations executive, author and writer in Kennesaw.
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Mike H
October 14, 2013
A lovely well written article.

Thank you Kevin.
October 12, 2013
Ok, it's unanimous. Kevin should resign this column and go write for some liberal blog where they all curse at each other and worship the Burning Man festival.

Mr. Brumby, who can you find to replace this out of touch glick (think...rhymes with glick...)
October 14, 2013
that's really funny anon..."glick" - I guess that makes you a louche slag.
October 12, 2013
Yes Mr. Foley Private Parman deserves an apology.

Pvt. Parman died while participating in the great global world war II for freedom and democracy. More specifically, Pvt. Parman died in a war to defeat...

an obscure man that went from "community organizer" to a Messiah like leader whom a majority of the populace idolized.

a "community organizer" who wrestled control of the government from his country's parliament and forced them to change their constitution stripping away all of the checks and balances of government and giving him complete power over the government, laws and the people.

a "community organizer" who then required every citizen to join his political party and pledge allegiance to him, his policies and his political, social and religious doctrines.

a "community organizer" who established "youth camps" to train young men women in his doctrines and turning them against the establishment of... parents, elders, religion, education and government.

a "community organizer" who established a powerful, elite military unit whose sole purpose was to spy on his citizens and eliminate the dissenters.

a "community organizer" who twisted his own racism into a popular doctrine of "political correctness and purity" that created an environment of suspicion and hate that evolved into an environment of social, political, intellectual and religious divide. That then evolved into the slavery and extermination of millions of his citizens (supported by a populace who sincerely believed they were doing the right thing because it was, ultimately, the best politically and socially correct solution.)

Yes, Pvt. Parman deserves an apology because he died trying to protect the United States of America from being taken over by this "community organizer" who would have put an end to our.. Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights and our American way of life.

Mr. Foley I could say more but I think you get the point. You and your ilk do need to apologize to Pvt. Parman and all of the other Pvt. Parmans, and you need to get your heads screwed on right and see our "community organizer" for what he is.

Our Man in Powder Springs
just sayin
October 15, 2013
a "community organizer" who stopped the country from falling into a depression due to the George W

Bush economic collapse.

a "community organizer" who ended the Iraq War and is ending the war in Afghanistan.

a "community organizer" who ordered the death of Osama Bin Laden and other terrorist leaders.

a "community organizer" who saved the American automobile industry from bankruptcy.

a "community organizer" who after sixty years of trying signed a law providing affordable health insurance to millions of uninsured Americans.

a "community organizer" who put together a coalition to remove Kadafy from power.

a "community organizer" who persuaded the Russians allow the UN to oversee the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons.

a "community organizer" who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize because he replaced the disaster George W. Bush.
West Cobb
October 16, 2013
@ Just Sayin

A "Community Organizer" who is taking away our freedoms and independence and transforming us into "Socialists."

East Cobb Senior
October 11, 2013
How low can you stoop to make your vicious and ludicrous liberal points? I am a veteran that proudly served during the Berlin Crisis and Vietnam era and am insulted by your column. Those laid to rest in Europe and throughout the world, who gave the ultimate sacrifice and fought to defend our freedoms, as guaranteed in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, would be proud that our system of government continues to allow for the dissent being expressed by those you refer to as “radicals”.

For How low can you stoop to make your vicious and ludicrous liberal points? I am a veteran that proudly served during the Berlin Crisis and Vietnam era and am insulted by your column. Those laid to rest in Europe and throughout the world, who gave the ultimate sacrifice and fought to defend our freedoms, as guaranteed in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, would be proud that our system of government continues to allow for the dissent being expressed by those you refer to as “radicals”.

For you to use those heroes, who made that sacrifice, to denigrate and disparage those that vehemently disagree with you, your party and the liberal agenda is beyond disgusting. I don’t know if you are a veteran, but regardless you have insulted all who are presently in uniform and those that had proudly served with your nauseating political demagoguery. Any credibility you may have had as a commentator or columnist is now in the toilet where it belongs with this kind of crap you spew.

October 11, 2013
I was like you guys, SA and MW, thinking, nice piece, KF.

I should have known better.

The closing of the WWII Memorial, and other sites, is worrisome. It demonstrates in no uncertain terms that not only is the IRS a partisan tool, the National Park Service is yet another partisan bureacracy waging war on the citizenry.
Shawn Davis
October 11, 2013
To invoke the war dead in furtherance of your support for big government is shameful (“Foley: An apology to Private Parman,” October 11, 2013). How arrogant of you to presume a man who fought and died for his country nearly 70 years ago even shares your liberal view that this country should continue deficit spending to the point of weakening our national security and jeopardizing our sovereignty. Private Parman and his family are due an apology alright, but it should come from the scribe who just dishonored him, not our fiscal conservatives and patriots in Washington.
Harry Hagan
October 11, 2013
It's hard to imagine how a body can even contain such corrosive chutzpah of which KF seems to have an overabundance. How dare he actually name and enlist one of our fallen heroes in his ongoing, poisonous diatribes? Every WWII vet I've known despises what leftism has done to this great nation. The culture is toxic, the economy ruined, and now we face the final curtain on democracy with the inception of CommieCare, aka the ACA. KF is living proof of the thesis that the liberal brain and heart are missing some very key components. They claim compassion, but really, they're just blind dogs in a meat market. Liberalism is rancid and disgusting. If this administration doesn't convince them, nothing can.
Papermill gal
October 11, 2013
Oh, Kevin does patriotism. Almost. Until the part where he trashes fairly elected politicians and uses Private Parman as a chess piece, trivializing the Battle of the Bulge and the man's sacrifice.

This is a new low Foley.
Samuel Adams
October 11, 2013
Dear Foley: this would've been a beautiful column except for your timing. You see, we can all tell it was obviously written prior to the last few days and the horrifying news that your president, your party (Dem) and the Nazi-like national park service "officers" gleefully, unashamedly and cruelly closed military monuments throughout Washington and the country specifically to "cause as much pain as possible" to the very veterans you attempt to tribute here. GREAT TRY you hypocrite. You have ZERO credibility when you try to use our military men as pawns in your political temper tantrums.
Mike Woodliff
October 11, 2013
This was a nice piece, Kevin. Then you had to muck it up in the last four paragraphs with your deathless political commentary. Not everything begs for your political opinion. Besides, Private Parman might have turned out to be one of those you hold in contempt.
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