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JIM: Alvin York - His duty to defend

Vignettes of Sgt. York


The following vignettes of Alvin C. York appeared in the Adair County News in 1919 and perhaps give a more definitive look at the man than do accounts of his battlefield exploits.

June 4, 1919

Alvin York, of the Three Forks of Wolf, in Tennessee, is credited with having killed twenty-six Germans and of capturing one hundred and twenty-five. Since his return to the States he has been signally honored.

His valor was known [stateside] before he left France. He is in Congressman [Cordell] Hull's district, and when he reached Washington, Mr. Hull met and conveyed him to the halls of Congress, seating him in the gallery. He then announced on the floor that York was present. Every Representative in the hall arose and clapped their hands...

His name will go down in history as one of the greatest fighters the world ever produced. He is a local preacher, and when drafted he asked to be released because he did not want to kill, but reading his Bible, he concluded that it was his duty to defend his country against a heartless foe.

* * *

December 17, 1919

When Alvin York, the war's greatest hero, was being passed around from one "affair" to another and being overwhelmed with attention and adulation, many people feared that there might be enough flattery and flummery to turn his head and that he might be spoiled, as so many men have been, by too much notoriety.

It is good to know that came through all right. For the man could turn down all sorts of big money offers to appear in vaudeville and the movies and go back home to found a school for his own people is all right.

Alvin York is more a hero today than ever before. For he has demonstrated that he has splendid unselfishness and steadfast common sense as well as suburb courage. His community, his state, his nation do well to be proud of him.

- Compiled by Jim

This story was posted on 2013-11-25 10:29:38
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