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May 26, 2005 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2005-05-26

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Commentary

Doors and Windows

Jews Have Served
U.S. Since 1776

n May 30,
2005,
Memorial
Day ceremonies
will be held
throughout the
country to remem-
ber and honor our
deceased and liv-
ing veterans. We
will also be giving
SEYMOUR
our respect and
BRODY
support to our
Special to the
men and women
Jewish News
now in uniform,
who are in battle
with the enemies of democracy.
On this Memorial Day, let us also
remember our Jewish men and
women, who are in the forefront of
combat and those who have served our
country in the past.
National Commander Louis
Abramson will be representing the
Jewish War Veterans of the USA at
Memorial Day ceremonies at
Arlington National Cemetery. JWV
echelons throughout the country will
be involved with Memorial Day cere-
monies in their areas.
As of today, there are 15 Jewish men
that we know of, who have been killed
in combat in Iraq. Many of our Jewish
men have been wounded.
From colonial times to the present,
there have been over 1 million Jewish
men and women in America's. military.
There have been 17 Jewish recipients
of the Medal of Honor, the highest
award for bravery in combat.
In 1654, when Jacob Barsimson,
Asher Levy and other New Amsterdam
Jews achieved the right to do guard
duty, it was the beginning of Jews serv-
ing in our military.
In the Revolutionary War, Jews
served with distinction and honor. Lt.
Col. Solomon Bush was the highest

Seymour "Sy" Brody is the author of
"Jewish Heroes and Heroines of
America" and a former editor of "The
Jewish Veteran." He has created six
exhibits of Jews in America for the Web
site of the Molly Freiberg Judaica
Collections of Florida Atlantic
Universi t y. He is president of the Jewish
Heroes and Heroines of America
Foundation.

ranking officer in the Continental
Army and was decorated for bravery in
battle. Francis Salvador was known as
the "Paul Revere of the South" and
was the first Jew to die in a
Revolutionary War battle, on Aug. 1,
1776. Mordecai Sheftall acquired the .
reputation of the "great rebel" in fight-
ing the British in the South.
Haym Salomon was a fervent patriot
and a civilian hero. His love of liberty
and business acumen made him a vital
force in obtaining the financing neces-
sary for the success of the
Revolutionary War.
In the War of 1812, Captain Uriah
P. Levy was a naval hero. He ended the
practice of flogging sailors. He also
wrote many technical journals for
training naval officers. He bought,
restored and presented to the govern-
ment the estate of President Thomas
Jefferson.
The Civil War not only divided the
nation, but also, the Jewish population
of about 150,000. There were about
8,500 Jews in uniform: 6,000 for the
North and 2,500 for the South. They
were commended for bravery by their
officers.
In 1862, rabbis were permitted to
become chaplains in the military. The
law stated that a chaplain had to be an
"ordained Christian minister." After
much lobbying, the law was changed
to read that a chaplain had to be an
"ordained minister." The word
"Christian" was deleted.
The Jewish War Veterans of the USA
was organized on March 15, 1896,
because of anti-Semitism. In that peri-
od, Mark Twain and other writers
wrote in their publications that "Jews
didn't serve in the Civil War." In
response to this charge, 78 Jewish Civil
War veterans met in New York City
and formed the Hebrew Union
Veterans, the precursor organization to
the Jewish War Veterans.
Today, the JWV is the oldest veter-
ans organization in the country. It is
the only active Jewish organization
with a congressional charter. It is the
sponsor of the National Museum of
American Jewish Military History, the
only accredited veterans museum in
the country.

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of your future. We are
so very proud of all your
achievements. Your
positive attitude has
been an inspiration.
Good luck at Michigan!

We love you very much,
Mom, Dad and Bradley

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