John Roderick Towle was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 19, 1924. Towle, an “unskilled machine shop” employee with just a grade school education, was drafted into the United States Army on March 11, 1943 at age 18. After his initial training, he volunteered for airborne duty. After earning his jump wings, Towle was sent overseas to join the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment.
Arthur J. Jackson was born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 18, 1924. He volunteered and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in December 1942 at age eighteen. After his recruit training in San Diego, California, he joined the 1st Marine Division in time to see his first combat service during the Battle of Cape Gloucester.
“Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
“Sec. 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”…
Now, therefore, be it known, that I, William H. Seward, Secretary of State of the United States…do hereby certify that the amendment aforesaid has become valid, to all intents and purposes, as a part of the Constitution of the United States.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the Department of State to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this eighteenth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five, and of the Independence of the United States of America the ninetieth.
Today, in the closing days of the two hundred and thirty-seventh year of American Independence, less than one hundred and fifty years since the constitutional abolition of slavery in the United States, we take that abolition completely for granted. That’s a bold statement, I know, but I believe it completely justified.