Reader's view: Move beyond petty politics and elect people who care
On June 18, 1944, my father, Capt. Robert F. Powell, tank commander, 6th Armored Infantry Division, landed at Utah Beach on the Normandy coast of France. His unit proceeded under the command of Gen. George S. Patton through France and Germany, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was involved in the liberation of the Buchenwald death camp. After surviving several close calls, in which many around him were killed, and having seen and done things he never anticipated as a farm boy from rural Minnesota, he returned home to his family. Like most soldiers returning from war, he didn’t want to talk about it.
In September 2013 my husband and I visited Normandy. In Caen, at the historic site of William the Conqueror’s castle, a French woman recognized us as Americans. She was effusive with gratitude for what America had done for France.
Wishing to pay our respects for what my father risked, we spent a day at the Normandy Landing Beaches Memorial site, only to find the information center and American cemetery closed. Along with other disappointed visitors from America and other countries, we learned that after the war the site had been given to America for a national monument. It is American land and, as such, it was shut down by our bickering partisan Congress. This act by our dysfunctional government dishonored the men and women who fought and died as well as people coming to pay their respects.
This fall, let’s move beyond petty, special-interest big-money politics and elect people who truly care about the people they are elected to represent.