Find out more →

Get unlimited access. Become a digital member!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Remember veterans who served at home

Posted By on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 at 9:57 AM

ON DUTY: The 101st Airborne arrives in Little Rock.
  • Larry Obsitnik/Arkansas Gazette
  • ON DUTY: The 101st Airborne arrives in Little Rock.

Reflexive tributes to veterans have been floating past on Twitter and Facebook the last couple of days. The cynic in me wonders if some of the politicians who engage most regularly in these activities have their computers programmed from now until doomsday.

"There! I've got a Veterans Day tribute set to go on Twitter, Facebook and blast e-mail at 11:11 Nov. 11 every year until 2111."

Here's one I got today of a slightly different flavor. It's a reminder that violent confrontations don't always happen on foreign soil.

The Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is observing Veterans Day with a display of things donated by Robert W. (Bobby) Neel of Arkadelphia, one of the Arkansas National Guard members federalized during the 1957 desegregation crisis. The exhibit includes an MI Garand rifle with bayonet and helmet liner similar to those used at Central in protection of the constitutional right of nine black children to attend school with white children. Notes the historic site:

President Eisenhower's executive order federalizing the Arkansas National Guard and calling up the 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army to Little Rock Central High School in 1957,was the first use of federal force to uphold African American constitutional rights since the Reconstruction Period following the American Civil War. The National Park Service would like to invite any soldier who served at Central High under Governor Orval Faubus's order or under President Eisenhower's executive order to contact a park ranger to schedule an audio or video oral history interview to contribute to the preservation of these historic events.

Former students, teachers, protestors and bystanders with memories of the events surrounding the desegregation of Central High School and other Arkansas public schools are also invited to contact the park if they are willing to contribute an oral history interview about their experiences. Interviewees will receive a copy of their recorded story and a copy will become part of the site's permanent museum collections.

The historic site is open today until 4:30 p.m. The Bobby Neel exhibit will remain on display through Dec. 14.

A side note: The photo I've chosen to illustrate this is not strictly relevant to the federalized troops. It is the famous shot taken by the Arkansas Gazette's chief photographer, Larry Obsitnik of troops dispatched after the governor of Arkansas forced the president's hand. Obsitnik gave me an autographed copy before he died and said I was free to use it in the future. This particular version comes from the collection at the University of Arkansas. Obsitnik was a WWII veteran himself, having served frosty duty in the Aleutians with the Coastal Artillery regiment of the Arkansas National Guard. A night with The Chief at the bar of M.M. Eberts Post 1 of the American Legion rarely ended without his declaration of a favorite saying: "I walk with the lions, I soar with the eagles, I shall not fear the flight through hell." We're thankful, and not just today, for the hundreds of thousands who lived and died by that creed.

Tags: , ,


Speaking of...

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Fire death reported on W. 24th

    Greg Yarbrough at KARK TV reports that police are saying one person has died in a fire at 4700 W. 24th Street.
    • May 22, 2015
  • Lawsuit against Dennis Milligan settled for $30,000

    A federal lawsuit against Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan by an employee he fired when he was Saline County circuit clerk was settled this week for $30,000, including attorney fees.
    • May 22, 2015
  • More »

Most Shared

  • Womack gets plucked by 'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver'

    HBO's "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, which premiered last April, has consistently shown itself to be a Daily Show-level contender for the humor-news crown. Up for discussion on the show last night: the myriad ways major poultry producers exploit chicken farmers. Also featured in the video: Arkansas Republican Rep. Steve Womack, who gets plucked and roasted for placing a rider on the agriculture appropriations bill that forbids the USDA from enforcing already-written protections for the nation's poultry farmers.
  • Magazine obtains police report over Josh Duggar sexual molestation investigation; he admits past 'mistakes,' resigns Family Council job

    In Touch magazine reports that it has obtained a Springdale police report containing allegations of sexual misconduct against an unnamed teen that it says it has confirmed was Josh Duggar, a minor at the time and now a prominent lobbyist for the Family Research Council and a leading voice for legal discrimination against gay people.
  • State budget administrator Brandon Sharp fired; no reason given

    KATV reports that Brandon Sharp was fired Monday afternoon after four years as state budget administrator, a $101,000-a-year job in the Department of Finance and Administration.
  • KATV: Bill Walker's state agency approves grants to sister UPDATE

    KATV has dug up on questionable public dealings by a familiar figure — former state Sen. Bill Walker, who headed the state Career Education Department during the administration of Gov. Mike Beebe.
  • What's not to love about the Bentonville Film Festival? Walmart.

    The Bentonville Film Festival, launched this year by actress Geena Davis and held earlier this month from May 5-9, earned a number of largely positive notices from major outlets like the Huffington Post ("At the Bentonville Film Festival, Women Are Playing in the Major Leagues"), the L.A. Times ("Bentonville Film Festival pushes diversity message from year one") and the New York Times ("Bentonville, Ark., Hosts a Film Festival Without a Movie Theater"), most of them centering on its unique and vital agenda — promoting diversity and gender equality in filmmaking — and its celebrity cache (e.g. an acting workshop taught by Robert De Niro, a softball game led by Rosie O'Donnell, etc.).

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2015 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation