Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Salute to a Liberator

This November 11th—Veterans' Day—Arnold Rist, of Nanuet, New York, will raise his bugle once again for his brothers in arms. Over the past 13 years, Rist has played Taps more than 1,300 times for fellow veterans—at funerals and for holidays honoring our armed forces. This past Memorial Day, a serendipitous encounter created the setting for a classic image.

It was a Norman Rockwell moment. At the Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 30, 2011, in Stony Point, New York, Times photographer Susan Stava caught three-year-old Thomas Cahill sitting next to a veteran in uniform. Fate and the photo have linked them forever. Even seated, a bugle in his lap, Sergeant Arnold Rist, of the 65th Armored Infantry Battalion, 20th Armored Division, seems to be standing at attention. Cahill, clutching a large flag in his little right hand, holds his left hand to his forehead — in what looks for all the world like a cherubic salute to the eighty-six-year-old veteran....
For forty years, Rist could not talk about the war—especially about the liberation of Dachau. For the rest of the story, read my article: "Salute to a Liberator," in the Inyan magazine section of this week's Hamodia weekend edition.

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