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"Sergeant York"
by Ted Rudow III, MA (Tedr77 [at]
Saturday Jun 7th, 2014 11:50 AM
This is something was one of the greatest problems in the military at that time, during WWII, with all these boys who didn't really want to kill, but who knew they were being trained to kill. The story about the famous Sergeant York of WW1. During the First World War they didn't have any allowance for Conscientious Objectors at all and he was a C.O., refusing to kill people because of his convictions against it. So they drafted him and under the threat of Court Martial or begin shot, they sent him to France.

But he was out in a trench one day so somehow or another the Germans had circled them.They gotten around behind them, so there were several German machine gun nests. They had surrounded them and were just mowing down the American boys with the machine guns virtually by the hundreds!

He prayed about it and got the answer: "Something you have to take life in order to save life. Their eyes practically popped out when they saw him come walking out of that dense fog with 600 Germans with their hands on top of their heads!--A true story! And they wrote a book about it afterwards, made a movie called "Sergeant York". It's very famous.

Ted Rudow III, MA

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by Mike Novack
Sunday Jun 8th, 2014 4:42 AM
"During the First World War they didn't have any allowance for Conscientious Objectors at all"

Simply untrue. They were not, for example, forcing Quakers to fight. It WAS different from now only considering as CO's those who belonged to churches that were pacifist, not individual beliefs except under unusual circumstances.

But that was decided (initially, befroe possible appeals) at the local draft board level, and in the part of the country Sgt. York came from, his unusual story of why he felt he had received a personal message that HE was not to shoot anybody (any more) would have been accepted. And that, in fact, was the understanding under which he had been sent, as a somewhat older man, very experienced, who could lead the youngsters even if he personally would not shoot.