• Jeffrey Zalles

Arthur Seltzer Was Not a Loser

Arthur Seltzer as a young soldier (left) and at age 90, just prior to his death.

I once asked my cousin Arthur if the opening scene in Saving Private Ryan, depicting the Allied invasion of Normandy, was a dramatization. “No, that’s exactly what it was like,” he replied. Arthur Seltzer, a 20-year-old Army signalman at the time, was nervous as his PT boat carrying 36 soldiers approached Omaha Beach. With a 65-pound radio pack on his back and not knowing how to swim, things could not have looked bleaker. As his fellow fighters exited their boat, they were immediately gunned down by German forces. Arthur and his commanding officer were the only survivors. He spent the next terrifying 12 hours shielded behind the bodies of his dead comrades as Nazi gunners fired down from the cliffs that cradled the coast. From Omaha Beach, Arthur went on to liberate France and free the survivors of a Nazi concentration camp in Germany.

Arthur Seltzer was a true American hero.

I have been disgusted by President Trump’s disparagement of heroes like my cousin Arthur, referring to them as Losers and Suckers. Sadly, I have come to expect such outrages from the President, but I never thought that Senator Thom Tillis, someone who regularly expresses his support for the military and its veterans on social media, would remain silent in the face of such a disgraceful insult by the leader of his party. Several attempts by me to obtain a statement from the Senator were rebuffed.

Arthur Seltzer and thousands like him fought bravely for our country. Thom Tillis’ failure to defend them is a stunning display of cowardice and disrespect.