Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NATION [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NATION [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

HOMETOWN CANCELS CELEBRATION FOR POW

HAILEY, Idaho - There will be no hero's welcome for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in his hometown, no fanfare of parades, music or picnics in the park.

A planned celebration for the end of June marking his return after five years of Taliban captivity in Afghanistan has been scrapped, largely due to security concerns as his release has touched off a nationwide debate. Was he an American prisoner of war who should be welcomed home after years in the enemy's hands or a deserter who abandoned his unit who should be punished accordingly?

For those who knew Sgt. Bergdahl and his family in this small central Idaho town surrounded by forests and mountains, the politics of war have no place. They just want Sgt. Bergdahl back home.

"It's like a modern day lynching. He hasn't even been able to give his side of the story yet. This community will welcome him back no matter what," said Lee Ann Ferris, who lives next door to the Bergdahl family and watched Bowe grow up.

The town of 8,000 has been swamped with hate mail and angry calls, labeling the 28-year-old Sgt. un-American and a traitor. Given the prospect of large crowds on both sides of the debate, organizers abruptly canceled their welcome home celebration.

A Pentagon spokesman today said Sgt. Bergdahl's health is improving daily, and he is resting more comfortably and becoming more involved in a treatment plan designed to ease his return to the U.S.

In Brussels, President Barack Obama said today he "absolutely makes no apologies" for seeking the sergeant's release in a prisoner swap with the Taliban.

When it comes to getting soldiers back from war, Mr. Obama said, "We don't condition whether we make the effort to get them back."

He also said Sgt. Bergdahl's health had been deteriorating and "We were deeply concerned about it."

34 HURT IN NEW YORK FIRE

NEW YORK - Fire tore through three townhouses on Staten Island early today, injuring 34 people including two young children who were tossed out of a smoke-filled second-floor window into the arms of neighbors below, authorities and witnesses said.

About 200 firefighters responded to the blaze that erupted at about 1 a.m. and battled the five-alarm fire for several hours.

A Fire Department of New York spokesman said 23 firefighters and 11 civilians suffered injuries ranging from minor to serious but none was considered life-threatening. He said the number was expected to climb slightly.

He said the flames were so heavy that firefighters were unable to say where the fire originated. That would be part of the investigation into what caused the blaze, he said.

JET CRASHES INTO NEIGHBORHOOD

IMPERIAL, Calif. - A military jet slammed into a Southern California neighborhood dense with homes and exploded in flames, but the pilot and everyone on the ground emerged unscathed, officials said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.