Remembering “Black Bart,” and Kerry

The Vietnam Vets for the Truth held a rally in Washington D.C. I watched most of it on C-SPAN. John O’Neill of the Swiftvets delivered a fine speech. But the most moving speech I heard was by Larua Bartholomew Armstrong, daughter of Lt. Col. Roger (“Black Bart”) Bartholomew, a First Air Cavalry rocket artillery helicopter pilot who was killed in Vietnam on Thanksgiving Day 1968, when she was eight years old. Ms. Armstrong’s focus, and that of the other speakers too, was on John Kerry’s activity after he finished his time in Vietnam. She made the point that one “didn’t have to attack the warrior to attack the war” — a point so basic that even an immature leftist like me had the decency to grasp it in 1971. Yet John Kerry did not. And, getting to the heart of John Kerry’s role, she noted that what the winter soldiers did in 1971 did not require courage; it just required a high visibility leader with access to Ted Kennedy and a willingness to betray the men he served with.
Ms. Armstong concluded with a story about her father and Rick Rescorla, the security chief for Morgan Stanley, who died in the World Trade Center on 9/11. In the early 1990s, Rescorla told Armstrong that her father, “Black Bart,” had saved his life in Vietnam. He did so by flying his helicopter into a creek bed where Rescorla was stranded, and pulling him out just before the enemy arrived. Bartholomew received no medal for this; he was just doing his duty. So was Rescorla, on 9/11, when he safely evacuated 3,700 people before he perished. Many of them likely would have perished too had not Bartholomew saved Rescoria’s life in Vietnam.
These are the kind of men that John Kerry branded as war criminals.
If anyone can provide a transcript of Laura Armstrong’s speech, we will reprint it here. Meanwhile, here’s a piece she wrote for the Wall Street Journal in March.


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