A brave young B-17 pilot from Ironton, Ohio, Raymond Stephenson, sacrificed his life to combat the Nazis during World War II. His nineteen year old wife, Helen, became a widow and single mom the day Raymond died. It has been my honor to tell their story.
As I watched Neo-Nazis march through Charlottesville, listened to their chants and viewed the subsequent violence, I thought about Raymond, Helen and the more than 400,000 American soldiers, airmen, sailors and Marines who died in World War II and all who suffered and endured unspeakable hardships to free the world from the yolk of the Nazis. Never was our nation so closely joined in a common cause. Perhaps in the passing of more than seven decades since the end of World War II, some have forgotten. I share this image to remind those who do not recall, the evil wrought by the Nazis.
We cannot tarnish the legacy that Raymond, Helen and millions of others created through their sacrifices. We have a responsibility to confer to others, regardless of race, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, any rights that we claim for ourselves.
We owe a legacy of freedom, equal rights and a peaceful existence to this generation and those that follow. Our nation was never so divided as it was during the Civil War. Let us never be so divided again.