Lucian Truscott Jr. Apology: General’s Apology To Soldiers Made History

May 24, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

Lucian Truscott Jr. delivered a heartfelt apology to soldiers, who had perished, in a speech on Memorial Day 1945, and his words are still relevant today with so many of America’s sons and daughters fighting and dying abroad. Lucian King Truscott, Jr., an Army General, who fought in World War I and II, spoke at the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy, where he apologized to the soldiers, who gave their lives for various nations, and asked that they not be forgotten.

Lucian Truscott

Lucian Truscott Jr. offered an apology to the many soldiers, who did the ultimate sacrifice, and his words still speak volume this Memorial Day as we salute America’s finest and most heroic, who are battling ISIS, Al-Qaeda and countless terrorist groups in Iraq and Afghanistan.

On Memorial Day 1945, Lt. General Lucian Truscott was sent to Sicily-Rome American Cemetery in Nettuno, Italy to speak on behalf of America and President Harry Truman.

Truscott, who was born in Texas in 1895, served in both World War I and World War II. In 1942, Truscott was appointed to the staff of IX Corps Area, at Fort Lewis, Washington. That same year, Lucian Truscott Jr. was assigned to the Allied Combined Staff.

He led more than 9,000 men of the 60th Infantry Regiment and 66th Armored Regiment in the landings at Mehdia and Port Lyautey in Morocco. He also guided the Fifteenth United States Army and Fifth United States Army during World War II.

There is no recording of General Lucian Truscott’s Memorial Day speech, but Bill Mauldin, of “Willie and Joe” cartoons fame, was present and shared the remarks in his memoir The Brass Ring.

“When Truscott spoke he turned away from the visitors and addressed himself to the corpses he had commanded here. It was the most moving gesture I ever saw. It came from a hard-boiled old man who was incapable of planned dramatics,” Mauldin revealed.

According to Mauldin, Lucian Truscott Jr. stood amidst the freshly dug graves of thousands of soldiers and apologized.

“The general’s remarks were brief and extemporaneous. He apologized to the dead men for their presence here. He said everybody tells leaders it is not their fault that men get killed in war, but that every leader knows in his heart this is not altogether true. He said he hoped anybody here through any mistake of his would forgive him, but he realized that was asking a hell of a lot under the circumstances. . . . he would not speak about the glorious dead because he didn’t see much glory in getting killed if you were in your late teens or early twenties. He promised that if in the future he ran into anybody, especially old men, who thought death in battle was glorious, he would straighten them out. He said he thought that was the least he could do.”

Mauldin wrote in his memoir that he would never forget Lucian Truscott Jr.’s apology.


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