Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dream Team = Kennedy - Kerry - Imus - Crawford

In an appearance on Imus in the morning, Senator John Kerry used the phrase "I'm on it!" for assisting with the Liberator Status for the 94th Infantry. Prior to his appearance, Craig Crawford of Congressional Quarterly laid out the whole campaign for Don Imus on the popular syndicated show.

Now Senator Kerry's office has contacted Kathleen Cowley. Senator Kerry is coordinating the next appropriate actions with Senator Kennedy's office. Once more is known it will appear here. Let us hope it is possible to make this happen before Memorial Day. Any and all encouragement and kind words to Senators Kerry and Kennedy would be deeply appreciated.


Comments from Kathleen Cowley

Liberator status for Patton's Boston Regiment made it on the airways today thanks to one of the nation's finest political journalists, Craig Crawford. He came on air and immediately told Imus "I've got a cause for you!" and went on to explain the unjust treatment of the 94th. He ended with an enthusiastic shout "Liberator status for Patton's Boston's Regiment!"

Imus graciously took up the cause and spoke with Sen. Kerry about it during his appearance. He went a step further and said that he would speak to Doug Brinkley. as well. Sen Kerry came on the air exclaiming Craig's phrase "Liberator status for Patton's Boston Regiment!" He told Imus that would most definitely look into it.

What a great debut. Don Imus. who among his other philanthropic efforts brought the Intrepid Soldiers Fund to national interest and raised millions of dollars. His support for a cause moves mountains.

Sen. Kerry is a long time advocate for Vets. His efficient staff contacted me shortly after the show and they are already working on the project.

Last but certainly not least, the ongoing and unwavering support of Sen. Kennedy, he and his staff's determination and resolve so that the 94th will receive Liberation status.

I thank you all from the bottom of my hearl for your efforts to put history to rights, so the efforts of the 94th Infantry Division and the victims of the Holocaust will be forever remembered.

Monday, April 27, 2009

We Need A Bill

Many of us grew up listening to School House Rock. Now is the time to put the lessons learned into action. We need a member of Congress to present a bill granting the 94th Infantry liberator status.

Anyone who has any contact with the media or politicians is requested to make that contact now simply because the right thing to do is tell someone: There Ought To Be A Law

In the 19 years since this program was inaugurated, the 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.

In addition, the Museum displays 20 divisional flags at its 14th Street entrance. The flags are rotated so that all the liberating units' colors are prominently exhibited for the two million visitors who walk through our doors each year.

United States Holocaust Museum Article

Kathleen Cowley

The Beginning

I first heard the stories below about the 94th Infantry on Craig Crawford's Trailmix blog. Kathleen Cowley and I are among the regulars who gather there to discuss politics among a host of other things. As most of you know, the voices in print can become personal relationships as you get involved in the day to day lives of people whose messages you read.

The following are some of the items she has posted as part her campaign to gain Liberator status for her father's Army unit. (My writing is in regular text. Kathleen's is in Italics. The letters of the men of the 94th are block quoted. Letters to and from Senator Kennedy's office are offset between lines). You can see some of the original letters in articles below.

I don't know what FDR knew, but I can tell you that the soldiers of the 94th Infantry Division were never prepared for what they were to witness. Here is a bit of what my father wrote to his parents on April 29, 1945.

"I haven't seen too many of their "atrocities" but I've seen enough to know that there is some basis to all this talk. There is nothing kind about the Nazis whatsoever. They've starved their slave labor & lived so well themselves that its' pitiful. Too bad there isn't some way to make them pay for what they've done in the last six years."

Very shortly thereafter the soldiers were provided with pamphlets containing questions to ask of any victims they came across. My father, a huge supporter of Israel, just the other night said "I wish we had set up the Jewish State somewhere they wouldn't have to put up with this, like in Utah.

Please attention - (I have been working to get the 94th recognized as liberators with Sen. Kennedy's office since the fall of 2007 when I came upon the letter, part of a collection of over 200. I was told by the Holocaust Museum the letter is sufficient documentation to pursue Liberator status for the 94th.

As advised, my father and his comrade gave their testimonies of what they witnessed. It was very painful for them, neither had spoken of that day and the horrors they witnessed for nearly 60 years. Neither wanted to do it until they were told that the end result would be hanging the 94th flag at the Holcaust Musuem. iesSure would like to see this happen before they all die.

Some idiot "bureaucrat from the Ct. for US MIlitary History" has since interpreted the requirements to read that the camp liberated must be a concentration camp. There were NO "concentration camps" in Germany yet many divisions have liberating status for liberating camps in Germany. I have heard a rumor that the Army has flatly decided that no more units will be recognized regardless.. This is miserable, shabby treatment of our troops, specifically the 94th who bravely persevered under terrible conditions at Ardennes, the Battle of the Bulge. We are losing more than 1000 WW!! Vets a day.

Please - anyone reading this that might be able to help put history to rights & assist the 94th to receive the recognition they are due, please contact me. ("Any nation that does not honor its heroes does not long endure" - Abraham Lincoln).

Jamie and Flatus- thank you for your input, should let you know what I have done. I contacted Sen. Kennedy and he submitted the request. After the Army guy turned it down, Sen. Kennedy submitted the application to Congressional Research Center and it has been there since the spring. The regiment was originally named "The Boston Regiment" another reason why I involved Sen. Kennedy. According to procedure, regiments are not recognized only Divisions. A request is to be submitted, then the Center for Military History is to verify the location of the Division, then the Holocaust Museum does their research. The name of the camp is not necessarily required.. In early June a historian at the Holocaust Museum believes he found the camp they liberated. They actually liberated 3, but this was the first and worst.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cowley Letters To Kennedy


Kathleen Cowley
(For Commentors
Address and Phone Available on request)

November 24, 2007

Senator Edward Kennedy
2400 J.F.K. Federal Building
Boston, Ma 02203

Dear Senator Kennedy,

In Germany in April of 1945 my father, 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.

My grandmother, Catherine Cowley cherished every letter, carefully catalogued them and held them in safekeeping. In one letter dated April 29th, 1945, my father wrote that he had witnessed the atrocities. Certainly had my proud grandmother ever known that she held documentation that her son and his comrades had liberated a concentration camp and that the 94th wasn’t recognized- she would have written this letter herself many years ago.

So on behalf of my grandmother Catherine Cowley, my father Edward Paul Cowley, my entire family, Thomas Manthey and his family, the other brave soldiers of the 94th Infantry Division and the untold victims and their families of the holocaust, I formally request that the 94th Infantry Division be officially recognized as a liberating unit. It is long due.


Kathleen Cowley

P.S. In my last letter I incorrectly wrote that my father has three battle stars, in fact he has four- Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and Central Europe

Cc: Donald Mulry- 94th Division Historian Dr. Joseph White- Center for Holocaust Studies, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum


Senator Edward M. Kennedy
2400 JFK Federal Building Government Center
Boston, MA 02203 January 28, 2008

Dear Senator Kennedy

Thank you very much for contacting me regarding The Center of Military History’s disappointing reply. I was aware of their response and contacted Atman Trivedi at Sen. Kerry’s office. Through his assistant Dillon Guthrie I have received the Army History Bulletin containing the guidelines, which I have attached. Mr. Shirer’s rigid interpretation of the guidelines for the process of recognition is in question. Upon reading the guidelines, it becomes clear that the Army greatly valued the role of liberators and their intent was that every unit involved in liberation be recognized, as they “deserve to be honored and remembered by all”. One would think that an Army historian would relish this fleeting opportunity to properly document history.

The guidelines state that an individual or association seeking recognition “USUALLY provides the name of the camp that it liberated, the APPROXIMATE DATES of the liberation, the unit’s geographical location at the time, and a brief account of the events, SOMETIMES including information on the division’s sub-units that entered the camp”. The words “usually”, “approximate” and “sometimes” indicate that the Amy was allowing latitude, leeway in the requirements for recognition. We have not one, but two primary source accounts of that day, from my father Edward Cowley and Thomas Manthey, The geographic location and approximate date are supported in the primary source, the Unit Operational Records, which were obtained through your efforts. My father’s letter dated April 29th, 1945 “conforms to the documentary context established in the official records”, the Unit Operational Records, regarding date and supports the recent testimonies.

I was told by Mr. Shirer himself that the camp must be an extermination camp. Units have been recognized for liberating camps other than the 6 extermination camps. Nowhere in the guidelines is there a distinction of what sort of camp liberated be required for recognition. My father’s testimony states that there were “hundreds of dead and dying people”. Is that not enough suffering to consider it a concentration camp? This is deplorable treatment of our veterans. They were not personally pursuing recognition; they relived that day for their division, the 94th. The horrors they witnessed were truly unspeakable for 62 years and they faced those memories not for their own recognition but for their own heroes, the fallen soldiers and their still living friends and comrades of the 94th.

I do not have the heart to tell my father or Thomas Manthey of the response of utter disregard from their own army. This year the 94th is having their convention in Washington on Memorial Day Weekend. 1000 WWII vets are dying daily. It seems likely that this will be their last convention in Washington. MY father and Thomas Manthey plan to attend. They, all the brave soldiers of the 94th, deserve to see their flag flown at the Holocaust Museum and I will do everything possible to that end.

It has been suggested that the director of the Center of U.S. Military History, Sara Bloomfield, be made aware of this situation. Please continue in your efforts to see the 94th recognized. I’m truly hoping that it will be the support and determination of one of America’s finest sons, Senator Edward M. Kennedy that will put history to right.


Kathleen Cowley

P.S. I have just spoken with Donald Mulry, the 94th Division historian, who has been planning the convention. He was very disheartened as a planned ceremony at Arlington Cemetery seems to be falling through. He said “it would only happen with a miracle”. So of course I thought you might like to know and could possibly provide some help with that ceremony.

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