By Elaine Donnelly
Extending sexual misconduct to combat units
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
It is disappointing that Calvin Coolidge is consistently relegated to the hinterlands of America's presidential landscape. There are several reasons for this. First, he is a victim of what Lincoln called the "silent artillery of time" -- the way the memory of any earthly thing fades with the years.
The French people sloughed off years of national shame in one glorious summer month in 1944 when, with only minimal assistance from Allied armies, they evicted German troops from Paris. Albert Camus, writing in the clandestine newspaper Combat, spoke of Paris returning to its historic role of purging tyranny with the "blood of free men."
As we see Americans who took part in one way or another in World War II begin to fade from the scene in large numbers, we start to understand the bittersweet feelings that overtook previous generations about other conflicts in our history. But there are many reasons why the term "greatest generation," now almost routinely applied to them, is not so hyperbolic.
Although the United States had adopted the Neutrality Act in the late 1930s in response to aggressive dictators on the march, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was even more than usually acute in saying that he couldn't ask Americans to be neutral in their hearts and minds.
The liberation of Paris by its own people is best put into perspective when compared with the disgraceful weeks of 1940, when, as William L. Shirer wrote in his 1969 book "The Collapse of the Third Republic," "this old parliamentary democracy, the world's second-largest empire, one of Europe's principal powers and perhaps its most civilized, and reputedly possessing one of the finest armies in the world, went down to utter military defeat, leaving its citizens, who had been heirs to a