(WTVM) - The Army and the nation just lost one of the most famous soldiers of the Greatest Generation, one whose passing all of us from every generation should take a moment to mourn.
Lieutenant General Hal Moore, 94, gained legendary status for his command of a battalion of the newly formed 11th Air Assault Division stationed at Fort Benning in the early 1960’s.
He went on from Fort Benning to face an overwhelming number of enemy soldiers in one of the earliest and most brutal battles of the Vietnam War and he lived to tell the story. In fact, his best-selling book about it was made into a Hollywood hit movie.
Moore first served in Japan during the occupation at the end of World War II, then in Korea and finally in Vietnam...where he earned the Distinguished Service Medal and the Bronze Star.
He is credited with seeing the enormous value of helicopters as fighting machines, giving a new purpose and modern mission to the Calvary.
In Vietnam, Lt. General Moore led 300 soldiers of the 1st Battalion of the 7th Air Cavalry against a North Vietnamese force of 3,000. Moore's brave men killed nearly 2,000 enemy troops but only lost 79 of his own in the bloody battle in 1965, that was the first major engagement of the war.
When his book on that battle was made into the Mel Gibson movie called "We Were Soldiers", he insisted that the filmmakers "get it right". Moore, who lived and was laid to rest in Auburn, said later that the movie did just that.
When the US invaded Iraq, Moore criticized that war and drew a parallel back to Vietnam.
He said in Vietnam, the US tried to remake South Vietnam as a democratic country and their army in our own image when tat country knew nothing of democracy. Moore said the US made the same mistake in Iraq.
I urge you to learn the details of General Moore's amazing life on our website. He was a military giant who will always be remembered as fearless, deeply committed to his soldiers and as a leader who delivered on his promise to never leave any man behind.
General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to:
WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906
Copyright 2017 WTVM. All rights reserved.