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In celebration of his 100th birthday, former Secretary of State George Shultz wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post about trust. The second of the ten lessons he cited came from his time in the United States Marine Corps during World War II:

During World War II, I served in the Pacific theater in a Marine outfit that included a sergeant named Palat. I have forgotten his first name, but I have never forgotten the respect and admiration — the deep-seated trust — that he inspired. When Palat was killed in action, it brought home to me more than ever how pitiless war can be. Later in life, I thought about the loss of this trusted, beloved sergeant when I advised President Ronald Reagan about military action: ‘Make sure it is just,’ I said — and equip the troops for victory.

That is a good lesson — one more of our political leaders should remember. As we struggle to wind down some of the longest wars in American history, future presidents should be wary of committing our troops to new theaters around the world. When they do so, as Shultz says, they should make sure America’s fighting men and women have everything they need to win.

Shultz notes that he could not recall the first name of the Sgt. Palat with whom he served. That isn’t too surprising. They fought together in the Pacific nearly 80 years ago, along with thousands of other servicemen, and it would be an amazing feat of memory for the 100-year-old Shultz to recall every one of their names. But it struck me as odd that the editors at the Post chose not to take a few minutes to complete the minor gap in Shultz’s memory.

Many records from that era are now readily available online, and an hour of research reveals more of the story. William Henry Palat was born in Booth, Texas, in 1919, the son of Joseph and Frances Palat. Palat’s parents were Czech immigrants from the town of Hošťálková, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, now in the Czech Republic. They came to Texas in 1906, joining a sizable Czech community

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in the state. Joe Palat became a farmer in Texas and he and Frances had six children.

William Palat joined the Marines in September 1941, three months before Pearl Harbor. He was eventually promoted to the rank of platoon sergeant. Palat was a part of an anti-aircraft battalion in the 7th Defense Battalion and fought in some of the early battles on the Pacific Front. He was killed in action in the Gilbert and Marshall Islands campaign on September 7, 1943.

As fewer of the veterans of that monumental conflict remain with us, we must work harder to remember their sacrifices. The shared hardships of the war shaped Shultz and his generation and changed American society.

As we fixate on the increased partisanship of today, we might reflect on the brief window of unity that followed the horrors of a world war. Palat’s sacrifice marked Shultz for life. Many other veterans no doubt felt the same way about their experiences there.

History is often expressed in terms of trends and masses, but individual stories like those of Palat and Shultz make the past real to us in a way charts and figures cannot.

Find more pictures of Palat uploaded by his nephew on FindaGrave.com.



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South Carolina House passes bill that would prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected

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The South Carolina House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 79-35 to pass legislation that would prohibit most abortions. 

The bill must pass through a procedural vote in the House on Thursday prior to heading to GOP Gov. Henry McMaster who has indicated that he will sign it, according to the Associated Press. Two Republicans voted against the legislation while two Democrats voted for it. The state Senate passed the measure last month. 

The bill requires doctors to carry out an ultrasound to check for a fetal heartbeat and if a heartbeat is identified an abortion can only be performed in certain circumstances.

The legislation would not penalize a woman for obtaining an unlawful abortion, though the individual responsible for performing the abortion could face consequences.

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The outlet reported that other states have approved similar or even more stringent abortion prohibitions which could be implemented if the Supreme Court throws out the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. All of the other states’ abortion bans are currently entangled by court challenges and if the South Carolina bill is approved it will likely face litigation that prevents it from going into effect, according to the AP.

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Son of prominent conservative leader Bozell arrested in connection with Capitol siege

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Leo Brent Bozell IV, the son of conservative leader L. Brent Bozell III, is facing federal charges in connection with the Jan. 6 breech of the U.S. Capitol.

Bozell is charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building and disorderly conduct, according to a federal complaint unsealed Tuesday.

The official affidavit includes photos and videos that appear to show Bozell inside of the U.S. Capitol Building, including the Senate chambers.

At least one photo shows Bozell wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with a logo for a Christian school at which he once coached girls basketball, according to the Huffington Post.

The FBI obtained a photo of him posing with a student of a school, in Hershey, Pa.

His father founder, who founded the Media Research Center and other conservative groups, has condemned the riots, saying, “You can never countenance police being attacked. You cannot countenance our national capitol being breached like this. … I think it is absolutely wrong,” according to NewsBusters.

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Trump calls Limbaugh ‘legend,’ in first TV interview since Senate trial

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Former President Trump on Wednesday afternoon praised the career of conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, who has died of cancer.

“He loved his country, and he loved his fans,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “He is a legend.”

The interview was Trump’s first since the conclusion of his Senate impeachment trial last week.

Limbaugh’s wife, Kathryn, announced her husband’s death earlier in the day on his radio show. He had been diagnosed about a year ago with Stage-IV lung cancer. He was 70.

The president also said he had a personal friendship with Limbaugh, who was an early supporter of his 2016 presidential bid and who, like Trump, thought the president won reelection in 2020.

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Trump also pointed out that Limbaugh was a provocateur in his views about conservative politics that often sparked backlash from liberals and other critics. 

Trump last year in his State of the Union address awarded Limbaugh the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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