In Germany in April of 1945, Edward Paul Cowley, Thomas Manthey and a company of soldiers of the 94th Infantry Division came upon a camp filled with suffering and dying prisoners, they stayed for a few hours and then were told to move on as medical help was arriving shortly. They came home from the war and rebuilt their lives as citizens. They silently suffered, each in their own way, with the memories of the horrors they had witnessed. They never looked for recognition as liberators.
These humble soldiers seemed unaware that it was their toil and progress that had freed the victims from their captures. During the war my father wrote home to his family as often as possible.These humble soldiers seemed unaware that it was their toil and progress that had freed the victims from their captures. During the war my father wrote home to his family as often as possible. My grandmother, Catherine Cowley cherished every letter, carefully cataloged them and held them in safekeeping. In one letter dated April 29th, 1945, my father wrote that he had witnessed the atrocities.
This letter started our pursuit of Liberator Status for the 94th Infantry Division. The National Holocaust Museum and the Center of Military History have recognized 35 U.S. Army divisions for their heroism, gallantry, and help in liberating prisoners from brutal Nazi rule. Each year, the names and flags of these units are presented in a moving tribute at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda for the Days of Remembrance ceremony. The Division flag of each Unit is also displayed in rotation at The National Holocaust Museum. Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Edward Kennedy and his fine staff we were able to collect the required documents and submitted a formal request for Liberator Status in Nov. 2007. Sadly the application was erroneously denied, as the camp liberated wasn't an "extermination camp".
Since then Senators Kennedy and Kerry continued to seek Liberator Status for the 94th Infantry Division. Craig Crawford and Don Imus assisted in bringing national attention to this cause. Senator Kennedy was working on this until the week of his death. Sec. of the Army, Pete Geren was assisting the Senators. Unfortunately since Sen. Kennedy's death a new Sec. of the Army has been appointed and the request has fallen through the cracks. Time is precious for the Veterans of WWII- Over 1000 Vets die each day. President Obama could easily put history to rights by signing an Executive Order to grant the 94th Liberator Status.
Please honor these brave soldiers who sacrificed for our Country and the untold victims and their families of the Holocaust by signing the petition to President Obama to issue an Executive Order. Then tell your friends to sign as well.