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Celebrate a journalist

Kokomo Tribune. July 25

President Trump likes to call the “fake news media” the “real enemy of the people.” According to his Twitter archive, he’s tweeted 18 times about U.S. news organizations since the first of the month.

The enemy-of-the-people remark is a favorite refrain of the president. On July 9 he tweeted, “The Failing @nytimes, & ratings challenged @CNN, will do anything possible to see our Country fail! They are truly The Enemy of the People!”

It’s what makes the nation’s third Ernie Pyle Day — to be celebrated on the famous columnist’s birthday Aug. 3 — so ironic.

Pyle was born in Dana, Indiana. He studied journalism at Indiana University and started his reporting career at The Daily Herald of LaPorte. But it was his work as a World War II correspondent that made him famous. His columns from the viewpoint of American service members in the field commemorated their courage and sacrifice and earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 1944.

Pyle was killed by enemy fire on April 18, 1945, during the Battle of Okinawa. He was 44 years old.

Indiana Sen. Todd Young and and former Sen. Joe Donnelly introduced the resolution that resulted in the first ever Ernie Pyle Day.

“Ernie Pyle’s renowned career reporting throughout Indiana and World War II demonstrates the work ethic of Hoosiers and the dedication of Americans in commemorating our soldiers,” Young said. “By designating National Ernie Pyle Day, his important contributions to our state and nation will be honored.”

Said Donnelly: “I am proud to join Senator Young to introduce legislation designating August 3, 2018 as ‘National Ernie Pyle Day.’ Ernie Pyle — a Hoosier native from Dana, Indiana — forever influenced American journalism. His reporting from the battlefield in World War II captured the daily sacrifice and heroism of our service members fighting in the war.”

We encourage you to celebrate the life of Hoosier Ernie Pyle next week and contemplate what America would be without a free and professional press.

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