Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Luftwaffe Veteran Honored At St. Augustine National Cemetery on Memorial Day

Nazi Fuhrer ADOLPH HITLER with his Luftwaffe (Air Force) Commander-in-Chief HERMAN GOERING

Nazi LUFTWAFFE Veteran KURT G. HUMMELL, Honored at St. Augustine National Cemetery Ceremony on Memorial Day, 2015

Yesterday, May 25, 2015, is a date that will live in infamy. At the annual Memorial Day service at St. Augustine National Cemetery, someone snuck in, at the end of all the U.S. veterans who died during the year, the name of a non-U.S veteran, "Kurt Hummell, German Luftwaffe." "I was one of those Nazis," Kurt Hummell told me back in 2007. Not in recent memory has any veteran of a foreign power been honored in our St. Augustine National Cemetery.

Kurt Hummell's wife, Emily Hummell, a member of the Daughters of the Confederacy, worked for years as a supervisor for Southern Bell Telephone (later South Central Bell), an active Republican Party member who went to several Republican National Conventions as a delegate, and was for 24 years a member of the Board of Anastasia Mosquito Control. Kurt Hummell attended every Mosquito Control Board, sitting very close to his beloved wife, of whom he was proud.

For nine months, Robin Nadeau, Don Girvan, Jeanne Moeller, John Sundeman, others and me worked tirelessly to convince Mosquito Control to reverse an illegal, no-bid $1.8 million luxury Bell Jet helicopter purchase. One day, Chairwoman Barbara Bosanko (spouse of ex-County Attorney Daniel Bosanko) had enough. Chairwoman Barbara Bosanko said, "I'm calling the cops" and she did. Later, speaking to Mosquito Control, I said words to the effect that my father machine-gunned Nazis for my right to be here and speak at this podium. After the meeting, Kurt Hummell walked up to me and said, "I vas von of dose Nazis!" I was nonplussed, and said something conciliatory. Mrs. Emily Hummell ultimately changed her vote on the helicopter after staff duplicity was revealed to her, leading to reversal of the helicopter purchase and full refund of the $181,000 deposit.

Kurt and Emily Hummell met when Kurt was a prisoner of war at Camp Blanding. They fell in love and married, and he stayed in the U.S. No one wants to re-fight World War II 70 years later. But Military Officers Association President Rick Erkelens, other veterans, and me questions how it was that a Nazi Germany Luftwaffe veteran came to be honored at St. Augustine National Cemetery yesterday morning. Like Reagan's speech at Bittburg, it is reflective of insensitivity and bad staff work, at the very least.

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