Liberator Status for Patton's Army, the 94th Inf. Div.
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 cataloged them and held them in safekeeping. In one letter dated April 29th, 1945, my father wrote that he had witnessed the atrocities.
This letter started our pursuit of Liberator Status for the 94th Infantry Division. The National Holocaust 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. The Division flag of each Unit is also displayed in rotation at The National Holocaust Museum.
Thanks to the efforts of Sen. Edward Kennedy and his fine staff we were able to collect the required documents and submitted a formal request for Liberator Status in Nov. 2007. Sadly the application was erroneously denied, as the camp liberated wasn't an "extermination camp". Since then Senators Kennedy & Kerry continued to seek Liberator Status for the 94th Infantry Division. Craig Crawford and Don Imus assisted in bringing national attention to this cause. Senator Kennedy was working on this until the week of his death. Sec. of the Army, Pete Geren was assisting the Senators. Unfortunately since Sen. Kennedy's death a new Sec. of the Army has been appointed and the request has fallen through the cracks. Time is precious for the Veterans of WWII- Over 1000 Vets die each day. President Obama could easily put history to rights by signing an Executive Order to grant the 94th Liberator Status.
Please honor these brave soldiers who sacrificed for our Country and the untold victims and their families of the Holocaust by signing this petition and please spread the word. If you are interested in learning more or reading the 230 letters Edward Cowley wrote home during the War, please visit our website
Dear President Obama, We the undersigned request that your immediate attention to the application for Liberator Status for the 94th Infantry Division.
In April 1945, shortly after the battle at Ludwigshaven, Germany, a group of infantry soldiers from Patton's Army, the 94th Infantry Division, liberated a concentration camp near there. Primary evidence was uncovered in 2007 and with the help of Senator Kennedy a formal request for Liberator Status was submitted to the Center for US Military History. The request was erroneously denied. It has been rumored that the Center has decided that as a matter of procedure no future Divisions will be granted Liberator Status.
We are losing over 1000 WWII Vets a day. Our brave soldiers actions need to be recognized and honored. This is a part of the Holocaust Victims history, which need to be remembered. Never again! Sen. Kennedy and his staff worked furiously to rectify this cavalier treatment of history and our soldiers. Senator Kennedy and Kerry's office submitted the application to the Sec. of the Army, Pete Geren, who personally assured Sen. Kennedy that he would attend to the matter. Since Sen. Kennedy's death this issue has fallen through the cracks, and John Mchugh is now the Sec. of the Army Please rectify this injustice and give these men the place of honor they deserve. Please honor your friend Sen. Kennedy by continuing his fine work. Please grant the 94th Infantry Infantry Division Liberator Status through Executive Order. Please do this in a timely fashion so so that as many possible Veterans will live to know that their efforts were acknowledged and honored and to see their Division's flag flown at the National Holocaust Museum. Thank you for your prompt attention.
"Any Nation that does not honor its heroes will not long endure." Abraham Lincoln