Remember veterans who served at home | Arkansas Blog

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: , , ,


Sign up for the Daily Update email
Favorite

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

  • Rutledge opponent hits her socializing with corporate interests

    Mike Lee, the Democratic candidate for attorney general, has criticized Attorney General Leslie Rutledge over recent reports of her participation at private meetings where corporate interests make big contributions to a political group she heads for access to state legal officers.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • At least two sites under consideration for immigrant housing in Arkansas

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson revealed yesterday that a second unnamed location, in addition to Little Rock Air Force Base, was being considered for immigrant detention facilities.
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • Military lawyers drafted for border immigration duty

    Rachel Maddow reported on MSNBC last night that the Justice Department had requested — and the Defense Department agreed — military lawyers to handle the crush of immigration work on the border. How about adding some Arkies on the temporary duty list?
    • Jun 21, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Your daily dose of Jason Rapert

    Sen. Jason Rapert really, really didn't like it when a KATV reporter asked him about the hypocrisy of his political arguments.
    • Feb 4, 2017
  • Trump administration approves Medicaid waiver for Kentucky, including work requirements

    The Trump administration today approved Kentucky's request for a waiver of Medicaid rules to implement certain changes to its Medicaid expansion program, including work requirements. Next up, Arkansas?
    • Jan 12, 2018
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation