Throughout the political chaos of the final 4 years, and the wrongful insistence that there had been large voter fraud, some individuals claimed that we might formally change into the Divided States of America. And when the rioters stormed Congress, a few of them claimed extremely that it was the beginning of one other civil war.
Greater than a half-million individuals have died in the course of the pandemic on this nation, probably the most useless of anyplace on Earth due to the failure of our previous management; the loss of life toll is horrific, which a few of our residents ignore as a result of they’re too anxious about celebrities consuming youngsters. It is enormously unhappy that some individuals have so little sense that they consider these preposterous fabrications.
Most of us do not consider riots will reform us, and we do not consider all these asinine conspiracy theories. Personally, I consider in you. Not the rabble and the racists and the QAnon followers, however you. Over a few years, like many different reporters on the Journal Sentinel, I’ve had the privilege of writing about good and brave individuals who dwell right here.
I believed in Eddie Griffin, who could not learn or write, besides his title. Years in the past, he labored for greater than 30 years at St. Benedict the Moor, the church of the poor in downtown Milwaukee.
On the church, he lifted and he carried; he swept and mopped and shoveled. For no pay. He would not settle for a cent from the church for his a few years of exhausting work. Just like the individuals at St. Ben’s, he wished to assist the poor, whites and Blacks and in-betweens, who lined up for meals there each evening.
“They do not care what church you belong to right here, they pray for you,” Mr. Griffin mentioned.
He is too necessary to be referred to as something however Mr. Griffin. He made his life with a hammer and a brush and amusing and a coronary heart.
“Don’t need no pay,” Mr. Griffin mentioned. “Refuse to take it.”
Speaking about what good individuals he labored with on the church, Mr. Griffin mentioned, “A person was barefoot, and it was chilly and he involves the door, and Brother Chuck pulled his footwear off his ft and provides them footwear to the person. … That man wanted footwear, he will get footwear.”
St. Ben’s wanted Mr. Griffin, it acquired Mr. Griffin. Without charge.
I believed in Francis E. Ferguson. Years in the past, Mr. Ferguson grew to become president of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance coverage Co., however I did not write about him as a result of he was on the high of a really excessive govt ladder. I wrote about him for the braveness and dedication he confirmed throughout World Conflict II. That is why I name him Mr. Ferguson.
A pilot of B-17s, and a captain in what was then referred to as the U.S. Military Air Corps, Mr. Ferguson went to warfare 5 occasions, and 4 occasions he was shot out of the sky. And the final time, German troopers put him in a camp for prisoners of warfare.
On his second mission flying over Europe, “We acquired shot up so badly… we misplaced two or three engines and crashed” alongside the English coast on the best way again to base, he mentioned.
On his third mission, Mr. Ferguson mentioned he was piloting the aircraft close to Norway, on the lookout for German battleships and “We acquired hit with flak and ran out of gas and crashed into the ocean. The aircraft sank in a short time, however we acquired a raft out.”
They usually have been rescued by a Royal Air Pressure air-sea rescue workforce.
On his fourth mission, “We acquired shot up fairly badly once more … and we could not make it over the timber to a runway (at their base) and we crashed within the timber.”
Then got here his final mission, solely his fifth, in late 1943, “we have been on a bomb run (over Schweinfurt) … and we acquired clobbered with flak. It knocked us out of formation, after which the fighters completed us off. … We needed to bail out.”
Wounded, he could not stroll, so he simply waited. The Germans took him to a hospital, patched him up, then quickly transferred him to Dachau, a focus camp the place the Nazis murdered hundreds of Jews. Later, he was taken to Stalag Luft 3, which had hundreds of warfare prisoners.
He marveled on the ingenuity of the lads, who have been consistently digging tunnels and hiding the filth. One man, Mr. Ferguson mentioned, grew to become so good at stitching that he made a German officer’s uniform, put it on and walked out the entrance gate.
Mr. Ferguson realized knit, and he knitted plenty of socks. With the Russians advancing towards the camp, the Germans marched the prisoners for 3 days and 4 nights in temperatures that have been approach beneath zero.
“I had 15 to 18 pairs of socks with me and so they most likely saved me from freezing my ft,” Mr. Ferguson mentioned. “Some individuals froze their ft. Some died.”
He and the prisoners who survived ended up in boxcars, the place they have been taken to a grimy camp the place 100,000 women and men have been gathered in unspeakable circumstances. Gen. George S. Patton and his troops reached them to lastly finish the warfare for them.
Mr. Ferguson was simply one of many courageous individuals who served this nation, and I’ve written about dozens of them. I believed in him, and I believed in them.
I believed within the following child, too. Children are nice position fashions. Lots of the individuals I’ve seemed as much as are solely 4 ft tall.
I’ve written about this younger boy earlier than, the primary time years in the past, perhaps 30 or 40 years in the past.
He was solely 5 years outdated. Actual heroes do not put on shoulder pads and helmets. The little boy had cerebral palsy. He could not stroll on his ft, so he walked on his knees. He glowed with life. He was placing collectively a big puzzle of the USA on the ground of his classroom in his college.
He was form of seated within the Atlantic Ocean of the puzzle, on the japanese seaboard of this nation of his. He stored up a string of jabber as he put collectively his puzzle of our nation. He simply would not let it keep divided. However he had a lacking piece.
Recognizing the piece on the opposite facet of his almost-put-together nation, he knew what he needed to do. Regardless of his issues, he was optimistic he may do it. And he did. On that morning way back, this little boy walked throughout the USA. On his knees.
We should always all consider in Mr. Griffin, Mr. Ferguson, the little boy with the large puzzle, and all the numerous, many, many doers of great issues on this nation that’s imagined to be divided. When we have now individuals like them, there isn’t any division. We’re united. As a result of they cared. As a result of we care.
Invoice Janz, who’s retired, was a longtime reporter and columnist for the Milwaukee Sentinel, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. You’ll be able to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org