World War II Veteran Ralph Barrale, A True American Patriot, Who Was at D-Day and the Battle of the Bulge, Talks About Our Flag: If you have been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifice they made to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor our veterans is to tell their stories. Today, we are interviewing World War II Veteran Ralph Barrale. Tune in now to hear this patriot”€™s story and the lasting impact his experiences have had on him.

Air Date: 11/06/2017


Guests: Vet Ralph Barrale, David Barton, and Rick Green


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture.  Thanks for joining us today on WallBuilders Live! We”€™re talking about today”€™s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We also do something special here on WallBuilders Live, we have the opportunity to interview World War II veterans and other veterans throughout our history. But man, it’s so neat to get to talk to these guys.

They were there at World War II. Later in the program, Ralph Barrale will be with us. He was at D-Day at the Battle of the Bulge.  A lot of cool stories there.

For now, we’re here with David and Tim Barton. And by the way, David is America’s premier historian and our founder here at WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator.

To Learn More, Go to WallBuilders.com

If you’d like to know more about us, or the ministry, or the program all of that available at our two websites. The first one, WallBuildersLive.com. That’s our radio site, all of our stations are listed there, archives of the program over the last few months. You can even get more of these veteran programs as well.

And then our main website, WallBuilders.com has all kinds of great articles and information you can download right there on the website to equip, inspire, and educate you. So you can be a better citizen and preserve liberty.

And then also there’s a lot of great DVDs, curriculum, different things you can get for your Sunday school class, for your home, for your family.  Be sure and check all of those things out. And in fact, there”€™s a CD with a lot of these World War II interviews on there, that you can share with your family as well.

Freedom Is Not Free

So David, Tim, later in the program, Ralph will be with us. But it’s just a great honor to be able to interview these guys and bring this to life. Even from the standpoint of realizing that freedom is not free, but also respecting that flag, respecting what has happened in the past so that people can have the freedom of speech that we get to enjoy today.

David:

Yeah, it was a very impressive time. I was a prayer breakfast in St. Charles, and they had him up first to lead the pledge. And before he led the pledge, he started talking about the flag and how significant it was.  And just kind of gave his own heart thoughts on it. It really was impressive.

And so it reminded me of some other things that have been said in history. We talked, really off air, hadn’t covered it much here; but how that there were five black guys in the Civil War who got the Medal of Honor simply for not letting the flag touch the ground. They had such respect for the flag. And they lived at a time that’s much harder than anything going today.

Respecting the American Flag

Rick:

Now when you say simply- simply meaning they fought.  And they protected that flag.  They kept it from hitting the ground in battles, actually.

David:

In battle. One of them, the earliest part of the Civil War, where a black man was awarded the Medal of Honor, was Sergeant James Carney. He was shot four times and would not let the flag touch the ground. And he kept moving, kept bleeding this guys forward.  And they kept saying, “€œSerg., let me take the flag. I’ll carry-“€

“€œNo.  Nobody’s touching the flag but me.”€

And the greatest honor was to carry the American flag. And so you have eight black guys who get the Medal of Honor for defending colors. Five specifically, not just regimental colors, but for not allowing the American flag to touch the ground.

Previous Generations Respected the Ideal that the Flag Stood For.  Today That Ideal Is Not Respected

By the way, there were a total of 42 Medals of Honor given in the Civil War.  Because soldiers would not let the flag be disrespected or desecrated in any way. And so you take that, and that is the tone of previous generations.

They know what that flag stands for. Sure not everything in America is perfect, but it stood for the ideal that we wanted America to be. Now we’re disrespecting the ideal.

Sure there is injustice in America. It’s always happened anytime you have humans involved, there will always be injustice involved. But now we’re disrespecting the ideal. And that’s a whole different thing.

John Roy Lynch Freed Slave from Mississippi, Became Speaker of the House and Much More

And so as Ralph Barrale was talking about his thoughts on the flag. Hearken back to a guy that we hear little about today, his name is John Roy Lynch. John Roy Lynch was a black man who was raised in slavery in the south. He was out of Mississippi. He was freed in 1863 when Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. So he’s a free man after 1863, but he’s still in the south.

And he eventually after the Civil War becomes the speaker of the house in the Mississippi legislature. Imagine that, a black man who had been in slavery is now the speaker of the house after the Civil War. Later he gets presidential appointments from Benjamin Harrison, William McKinley, he was appointed army officer in the Spanish-American War. He got a law degree. He became the chairman of the Republican Party of Mississippi.

John Roy Lynch Lived When It Really Was Deadly Dangerous to Be a Black Man in the South

Here’s a guy who’s been in war, who’s been in the tough stuff. He lives in a day of the Ku Klux Klan. And he lives in a day of all the Jim Crow laws. He lives in a day when it really is deadly dangerous to be a black man in the south, and he is. And listen to this statement he made.  I love this. And by the way, he became the first black man ever to preside over a national political convention. He presided over the Republican convention, National Convention 1884.  I think it was in Chicago.

Listen to what he said. He said,

“€œI love the land that gave me birth. I love the stars and stripes. This country is where I intend to live, where I expect to die. To preserve the honor of the national flag, and to maintain perpetually the union of the states; where hundreds, and I may say thousands of noble, brave, and true-hearted colored men have fought, bled, and died.”€

All To Maintain the Respect of the National Flag

Notice he said it was all to maintain the respect of the national flag. And so you take that kind of tone of blacks in that day when it really was tough.  Compare it to today where, yeah, some injustice happens- but it’s not the wholesale, widespread stuff that we saw back then.

And the disrespect we have for the flag is so— that was something that really caught my attention. He was very gracious, very generous, very kind, very loving in the way that he kind of rebuked the crowd for thinking about the flag. But here’s a guy who on D-Day was having to defend that flag at the cost of his own life, in the Battle of the Bulge and all these other places. It was just an amazing story to hear.

Rick:

Let”€™s take a quick break. When we come back we’ll learn a little bit about Ralph’s story.  Then we’ll have him with us. Incredible to have these World War II veterans on the program telling their story.  Just a great honor. Stay with us! You’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Moment From American History.

This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. American Patriot Paul Revere road to alert Americans of the impending arrival of the British. But he also sought patriot leader Samuel Adams and John Hancock to warn them that the British were seeking their execution.

Adams and Hancock were staying with the Reverend Jonas Clark in Lexington. When they asked Pastor Clark if his church was ready for the approaching British he replied, “€œI’ve trained them for this very hour. They will fight and, if need be, die under the shadow of the house of God.”€

Later that morning, 70 men from his church, and several hundred British in the first battle of the War for Independence. As Pastor Clark affirmed, “€œThe militia that morning were the same who filled the pews of the church meeting house on the Sunday morning before.”€

The American church was regularly at the forefront of the fight for liberty. For more information on this pastor and other Colonial Patriots go to WallBuilders.com.

Veteran Ralph Barrale”€˜s Story

Rick:

Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Later in the program, Ralph Barrale will be with us. World War II veteran that served at the Battle of the Bulge, was there on D-Day,  Just incredible history and a chance for us to actually bring it to life.

And David, you were talking about actually get to share the stage with him at an event at a prayer breakfast. And just the demeanor that he had whenever he actually-  He didn”€™t just get up and lead the pledge, I mean,  he actually spoke about why we honor the flag.

David:

Yeah, he was really great.  His tone was so good. And he has done so much. He came back from the war and started working, and got all the cities to designate a Veterans Memorial Highway. I mean, he went city to city, to city, to city lobbying. And he’s just done so many cool things for the community.

A precious man.  His wife- I think they’ve been married 71 years maybe it was- 70 or 71 years. And they were just- I don’t mean this term bad.  They were just a cute couple.

It was really fun to be around them.  We talked a good while afterward.  He was sharing some stories. And so you look at what he was involved with- D-Day, that’s tough. And then Battle of the Bulge.  That’s really tough too. That’s when so many guys froze, and lost toes and other things because the extended battle there in the mountains, the high mountains in Patton’s Army.

He Was Involved Start to Finish In World War II

And then he goes and he helps liberate Dachau. Now that’s got to be tough.  Going into a concentration camp and finding the remains that are left there, and those that are still left alive.

And then he is on the other end, at the Nuremberg trials. I mean that”€™s start to finish.  This guy is involved in major stuff all throughout World War II.

I mean this.  We’ve had veterans on who have been involved in one thing, or two, or three, but four of those big things, and other things as well. And so I thought this would really be fun to get his story.  Because here’s a guy who was through it, who was part of it, and who has a really good perspective for us today.

Rick:

Stay with us folks! Ralph Barrale with us when we return on WallBuilders Live.

Share a veteran’s story

We Want To Hear Your Vet Story

Rick:

Hey friends! If you have been listening to WallBuilders Live for very long at all, you know how much we respect our veterans and how appreciative we are of the sacrifice they make to make our freedoms possible. One of the ways that we love to honor those veterans is to tell their stories here on WallBuilders Live.  Once in awhile, we get an opportunity to interview veterans that have served on those front lines that have made incredible sacrifices have amazing stories that we want to share with the American people.

One of the very special things we get to do is interview World War II veterans. You’ve heard those interviews here on WallBuilders Live, from folks that were in the Band of Brothers, to folks like Edgar Harrell that survived the Indianapolis to so many other great stories you heard on WallBuilders Live.

You have friends and family that also served.  If you have World War II veterans in your family that you would like to have their story shared here on WallBuilders Live, please e-mail us at Radio@WallBuilders.com.  Give us a brief summary of the story and we’ll set up an interview. Thanks so much for sharing here on WallBuilders Live!

Ralph Barrale Was a Military Police Officer In WWII

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us! Our special guest today is Ralph Barrale. David had the privilege of sharing the stage with Ralph just a few weeks ago at a prayer breakfast in St. Louis. Mr. Barrale thank you so much for joining us today.

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

My pleasure.

Rick:

So Mr. Barton had a great time with you and was just blown away by your story. You were in some of the most important parts of World War II, and served us so well and just represent all that is best in our country.

And we want to thank you for your service.  Thank you for coming on, and kind of sharing your story with us. We want to talk about how”€™d you ended up.  Initially, you ended up actually landing there at Utah Beach. Right?

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

That’s correct. Yeah, but we weren”€™t on initial drive. We landed later on.

Rick:

You were initially an MP, correct?  A military police officer.

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

That’s right.

Rick:

So how did you end up joining in with General Patton”€™s Third Army?

General Patton Called Barrale to Join the Third Army

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

Well, we were on maneuvers in Louisiana.  We were with Third Army then. And he found out that my outfit was in Europe at the time. So at that time, he called for us to join his outfit at Third Army.   We were way up in Iraq and Germany, and he wanted us in the Third Army. So he can’t argue with Patton. We went down and joined Patton in France.

Rick:

Well, that’s actually quite a compliment, right? If General Patton says, “€œHey, I want you.”€

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

That’s right. Yeah. In fact, we got a citation from him after the Battle of the Bulge.

Rick:

Oh wow. So take us to that, and people hear about that today.  The Battle of the Bulge and they know it was an important part of the war. But can you put it in context for us?  And what it was like to actually be there.

The Battle of the Bulge, “€œIt Was Just a Big Battle”€

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

Well, it was a lot of fighting.  Planes strafing you and everything, and tanks rolling all over the place. It was just a big battle. I mean, it was a rolling battle. It lasted for 29 days.

Rick:

And for your outfit, at that point where now, were you still an MP? Did you stay an MP through the whole process?

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

Yes, I did. We were, well we actually we were Combat MP”€™s. There is a difference between Combat MP”€™s and MP”€™s.

Rick:

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

MP”€™s are guys that are dressed up with white slacks and stuff like that in cities and stuff. But we were embedded with the different outfits that needed us.  And we were combat MP”€™s. We directed traffic and fought, and also picked up prisoners.

Rick:

Yeah. Now you also were among the first group at Dachau.  The concentration camp there is what I understand.

POWs In Dachau Were “€œSkin and Bones”€¦ It Was Something That Stays With You Forever”€

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

That’s correct. That’s correct. We were just going through there, and we just happening fall right in there.

Rick:

Whenever, now, when you guys got to Dachau was it still – ?  Were there still POWs there?

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

Oh yeah. Inmates were still there, you know- skin and bones. It just was a sight that we were never expected to see anything like that. We were never told what we were expected to see. I mean it was something that stays with you forever. And somebody tells me that that didn’t happen.  Well, I have pictures to prove that it did happen.

Rick:

Yeah, it”€™s part of the reason we so appreciate gentleman like yourself coming on and sharing with us. Is we want these new generations to know how bad it was, in order to prevent it from happening again.

Protect Freedom

Like you said, when people say it didn’t even happen- it’s hard to believe. Having seen it firsthand, I mean, maybe that’s part of why you’re still such a patriot today.  And wanted to make sure that we protect freedom and make sure those kinds of things don’t happen again.

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

That’s correct. That’s correct.

Rick:

When David said you had some remarks with why it was important to respect the flag and respect what it stands for- as someone that did pay such a heavy price for our freedom. Why is it important to you that we teach young people and teach kids why the Pledge of Allegiance is an important thing?

Respect For the Flag Because So Many People Have Given Their Lives

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

Well, it”€™s because so many people have given their lives. I mean we have cemeteries all over France, Belgium, and Holland, and Italy now, and also in North Africa that have fought for that flag.  That flag means so much to any veteran. And it just is a disgrace the way some people act about the flag. I mean they bring up something else politics instead of standing up for the flag. And it’s just terrible.

Rick:

And to stand and give attention and pay respect to the flag does not mean that you think everything”€™s perfect in the country, right?  What you’re doing is you’re honoring men like yourself and those that died.

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

That’s correct.

Rick:

To keep us free.

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

That’s correct. Right.

Rick:

Yeah, I can’t.  I cannot even imagine what it would feel like to someone like you, that’s given so many years of service. And even after you came home, you’ve continued decade after decade to find ways to honor those who serve. Whether it’s the Veterans Memorial Parkway and all the different ways that you’ve continued to help.

Vet Barrale Married His High School Sweetheart, Rose Marie

But I want to know a little bit about after you came back.  You married your high school sweetheart. So were you guys in love before you went off to war? Or did you have to win her over once you got home?

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

Oh no, no, no. I sealed that before I left.

Rick:

That deal was done, huh?

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

In fact, I wrote my mom while I was overseas and told her, I said, “€œI want you to give Rose.”€ That”€™s her name- Rose Marie. “€œI want you to give Rose an engagement ring.”€ And when she got that, she saw that she said, “€œI am accepted into the family.”€

Rick:

That”€™s great. Now, wait a minute.  So your mom delivered the engagement ring to her?

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

For Christmas, yeah.

Rick:

I love it. I love it. That’s great. Well, I think I hear Rose in the background. Is she there with you?

Ralph and Rose Barrale Have Been Married Over 70 Years

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

Yes, she is.

Rick:

How long have y’all been married now?

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

How long we’ve been married?

Rose Barrale:

Seventy-one years- seventy-one in June.

Rick:

Seventy-one years. That is fantastic. Rose, are you proud of Ralph?

Rose Barrale:

I sure am.

The Families of Service Members Sacrifice As Well

Rick:

Y’all sound wonderful. I know David so enjoyed getting time with y’all, and the opportunity to just be with you.  We’re just thrilled that you all would take time to come share with us.

Rose, we talk sometimes on the program about it’s not just the folks that go serve.  The family sacrifices as well. I would imagine for those years that he was over there fighting, that was a tough time for you, even though y’all weren’t married yet.

Rose Barrale:

It was three years we waited.

Rick:

Three years. Well, thank ya”€™ll, both of you. And thank you for continuing to work to honor those who served and sacrificed. I’ve heard you actually went and got city after city, to participate there in the Veterans Memorial Parkway as well, to change the name and honor our veterans.

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

That’s correct, yeah. And I’m working on the museum now, for all of St. Charles County.

Rick:

Oh, I didn’t know about that. Tell us a little more.

Vet Barrale Is Working to Open A Veteran”€™s Museum In Missouri.  “€œThe History Is in a Museum.”€

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

Well, that’s been one of the big things I’ve been trying to get is a museum. Because actually, the history is in a museum. And a lot of people have a lot of artifacts from their grandfathers, or their fathers, their uncles, whoever in boxes, in attics, and basements and stuff like that, and they belong in a museum!

Rick:

Yes. And what a great way to honor those grandfathers, and uncles, and whatnot- to take those artifacts and put them on display so the generations to come can come and see that, and learn that history.

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

That’s correct. Yeah, that’s what I’ve been trying to get. And actually, we got a building that we- eventually we will get it.  Because it actually is being used right now. But in the late- say in December 2018, we will have a building with a veteran”€™s museum in St. Charles County.

The Museum Should Open Late 2018 in O”€™Fallon, Missouri

Rick:

Oh, that’s fantastic. Well, congratulations, and thank ya”€™ll for all that you do. We really appreciate your time coming on today, and just wish you the best. Happy seventy-first anniversary.  That”€™s just fantastic.

Rose Barrale:

Thank you.

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

Yeah. I want to mention that museum to be in St. Charles County, being in the city of O”€™Fallon, Missouri.

Rick:

All right. That’s great. That’s great. Well, we want to send people there as well. We wish you all the best. You have a wonderful afternoon, and thank you again for your time today.

Veteran Ralph Barrale:

Our pleasure. Thank you for asking us.

Rick:

Stay with us folks! we’ll be right back with David Barton.

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Moment From American History

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. The key to a self-governing nation is self-governing people. And the key to personal self-government is to live by the standards in God’s word. If someone cannot control himself by those standards then our Constitution certainly will be unable to restrain him.

Understanding this, John Adams declared, “€œWe have no government armed with power, capable of continuing with human passions, unbridled morality, and religion. Greed, ambition, revenge, or seduction would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is holy and adequate to the government, of any other.”€

John Adams believed that successful government rested not upon our great Constitution but rather upon moral and religious people. For more information on God’s hand in American history contact WallBuilders at 1-800-8-REBUILD.

Interview and Record the Story Of Veterans You Know

Rick:

Welcome back! Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Special thanks to World War II veteran Ralph Barrale, for joining us today as well. Giving us a chance to learn his story, the sacrifices that he made so that we could be free today. Back with David Barton now, and one of our honors to have these programs, of course, Veterans Day is coming up, and great time of the year for us to be able to honor them.

And we encourage other people at home to do the same thing. Interview your relatives that you know served, especially if you have a World War II veteran at home. Get the recorder out and get their story.

When You Look Through the Eyes of Other People, Your Perspective Will Change

David:

Yeah, that’s big stuff, is recording that. And it will change your perspective when you start seeing through the eyes of other people. That’s what these interviews helped do.  But that’s what talking to any person from a different generation, or different country, or a different age.  

I’ve learned so much by talking to those who were in the former Soviet Union. Of what they had to go through, and that makes me appreciate more of what we’ve got today.  If you’ve only lived one thing and have one perspective, sometimes you don’t appreciate what you have as much.

What He Saw At Dachau Are Images In His Brain That Will Never Go Out

But even as he was talking, I just made some notes. When he said they were Dachau. He said, “€œThe inmates were all skin and bones.”€ He said, “€œI didn’t expect to see what we would, and that’s going to stay with me for the rest of my life.”€ And here’s a 93 year old guy. And you can imagine the- you know, my grandkids play at times, and they blink their eye. “€œWhat are you doing.”€

“€œI’m taking taking photographs with my eyes.”€

Well, that’s an image that’s on his brain that will never go out. We had another World War II Vet tell us on the program that the average weight of the male in those those places was 103 pounds. In our collection here at WallBuilders, we have several archives of photos of the photographers who went into those places with Eisenhower and others. And the actual photos of what they saw is just unbelievably grotesque.

And so here he is because of his strong Christian faith, is on the other side of all that. He still has a good perspective on it. And just be real kind of funny with it. He was telling me about how they got married.  And he said he knew it was true love because he mentioned that his mother in law gave his wife the ring.

Rick:

I loved that!

Vet Barrale Used a Cigar Band as an Engagement Ring

David:

Well, the deal was that when he left, he didn’t have a ring. So what he did was he took a cigar band off a cigar and put that on his wife”€™s finger.  That was their engagement ring. That’s the closest thing he had.

So he took a cigar ring- cigar band, and that was the ring. And that’s what held until he could get the mother in law to get a ring, and give it to her for a real thing. That’s great.

And they were so much fun, the two of them together. They were each telling the story- one would tell a part, and the other would tell the other part. So it’s just, you know 71 years later.  And still what a great marriage. And just it”€™s a really wholesome thing to be around guys like that, who have a great faith perspective that allows them to take really hard stuff and put it in context.

Today We Get to Enjoy What They Paid and Sacrificed For

Rick:

I wonder how much too, with our secularism of today.  It’s almost- if this is the right way to say it– easier to be secular in a day where you’re not facing what they faced. They had, I mean, the world was on the line.  They were literally on the brink of losing freedom- potentially on the whole planet.

And so for them to go over there at 18, 19, 20, years old and make the sacrifices they did, and see the things that they saw. It just seems like, man, it was a different time when they came home. And today, we”€™re a little spoiled, because we get to enjoy what they paid for.

David:

You know the other thing is, they had very vigorous spiritual support. The press in the United States was leading the nation in prayer for them. They were given Bibles, their chaplains were very aggressive. The whole perspective was different because there was good and evil.  There was not relativism. And they knew what was good and evil, and they knew where God came down on that that good and evil. And they knew they were on God’s side of this thing.

Previously They Had a Spiritual Support System- In Today”€™s Relative, Secular Society It”€™s Hard to Deal With the Rough Things In War

And so they saw what they saw.  The PTSD from the guys in that era, despite what they saw- Dachau and other things.  It was different because they had a spiritual support system.

And I think that’s where being secular makes it harder on us.

Because you still have to see rough stuff and do rough things in war; but without that knowledge, that there is an absolute right and wrong.  And God is the one who drew those lines.  Man, it’s hard to try to deal with what you see and do if you don’t understand that.

Standing For The Flag Shows Honor To Our American Heroes Like Ralph Barrale

Rick:

No doubt about it. Special thanks to Ralph Barrale for joining us today. You can get more of these veteran interviews on our website at WallBuildersLive.com.  Or you can actually get a CD where we compiled some of the best of the best. And that’s available at WallBuilders.com. Thanks so much for listening to WallBuilders Live.