Who is this guy? pic.twitter.com/FPDbtalgil— Cosmos Productions (@Cosmos_Producti) August 14, 2017
A man wearing a hat carrying the 82nd Airborne Division insignia during Saturday's Charlottesville rally just got called out by the actual elite unit on Twitter.
Members of the airborne infantry division of the United States Army were specialized in parachute assault operations and fought several campaigns during World War II against Nazi Germany. So as soon as images of the protest started popping up online, folks behind the 82nd Airborne Division official Twitter account didn't hesitate to school at least one marcher seen making a Ku Klux Klan salute while wearing a hat carrying the elite unit's emblem.
“Anyone can purchase that hat,” the Twitter account stated. “Valor is earned.”
Anyone can purchase that hat. Valor is earned. pic.twitter.com/qk6rQHBwui— All American ?? (@82ndABNDiv) August 14, 2017
In another tweet, the account added a bit of history.
“Our WWII Airborne forefathers jumped into Europe to defeat Nazism,” the profile recounted. “We know who we are. We know our legacy.”
Our WWII Airborne forefathers jumped into Europe to defeat Nazism. We know who we are. We know our legacy.— All American ?? (@82ndABNDiv) August 14, 2017
Andy - Respectfully, anyone who thinks this man represents our culture and values has never worn the maroon beret...and never will— All American ?? (@82ndABNDiv) August 14, 2017
Nicknamed the “All American Division,” the unit is historic for being part of the most ambitious airborne operation of WWII up to that point as its paratroopers invaded Normandy by air in 1944.
After someone asked the unit's Twitter account whether they knew the identity of the man wearing the hat, the account said it didn't. Instead, they replied with an image of what a real “All American Paratrooper” looks like.
Who knows? THIS is what an All American Paratrooper looks like. Rock Merritt jumped into Normandy on D Day, Njiemgen, fought in Bulge pic.twitter.com/vaps5fU0jb— All American ?? (@82ndABNDiv) August 14, 2017
Thankfully, there are still people like the ones running the unit's account who remember history and are quick to respond to those who insist on ignoring lessons from the past. And because of small acts like this, we can safely say that racist white nationalists will never win the battle over Americans' hearts and minds.
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Joshua Roberts