Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
Letter to the Editor
Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Battle of the Bulge took place during the second half of December 1944. The Screaming Eagles of our 101st Airborne and an artillery division were surrounded at Bastogne near the Belgian/German border. Our men had to dig holes in the snow to sleep for the night. Those who lived woke up in the morning and crawled out. Their feet were turning black, but they had to hold their position on the front line.
A German messenger delivered a letter to our officers in Bastogne, demanding our surrender or the whole town, including women and children, would be shelled. Gen. Anthony McAuliffe's initial answer was “Nuts!” The officers would not surrender, but did not know how to respond. One junior officer told him, “I liked your first response.”
“What was that?”
The junior officer told him, “You said, ‘Nuts.'”
When the German messenger returned to his headquarters, his officers read our response: “To the German commander, from the American commander, NUTS!” The Germans could translate our message, but did not understand it (peanuts? cashews?). What it meant was we were not going to budge nor surrender. We were making a stand at Bastogne.
I wonder how many of our young people know what these brave men did for our freedom during the Christmas season of 1944. May we always remember our brave heroes of Bastogne.
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