• Carrying on the name
    January 07,2014

    Carrying on the name

    I am responding to Peter Gilbert’s op-ed, “The man without a country.” I was totally surprised by the article on Philip Nolan, to read about the offense that brought him such a harsh penalty. I had heard about him all of my life (I’m now 86) but never knew what he was accused and convicted of until recently. All I knew was that he was convicted and imprisoned on a ship where he could not see land again. That the whole story was fiction amazes me; also as to how it survived 150 years without being corrected.

    I guess freedom of speech took a few liberties and survived the test of time. I’m sure a good many Nolans have had snide remarks thrown in their faces about the whole non-incident, if that’s what it was.

    I’m hoping my letter will bring a little vindication to Mr. Gilbert’s “Christmas story.”

    All down through history, the Nolans have been recorded as being loyal to the United States by putting their lives on the line in one war or another. My husband’s father fought in World War I, his son (my husband) fought in the Korean War, right up to the 38th parallel. My daughter was stationed in Korea in the U.S. Air Force; my granddaughter, now in the U.S. Army, was stationed in Korea, later in Iraq (in Baghdad), and still is in the Army but now in the States; my son flies the American flag 24 hours a day.

    I’m sure there are other Nolans who are as patriotic in the love of this country and have had to put up with remarks made by thoughtless people.

    My father-in-law beat some of the derogatory remarks by running the First National store in Hardwick for a number of years, and then after a while ran for the Legislature and was twice elected.

    One thing I don’t understand: If Philip Nolan was fictional, why did someone wait 150 years to bring it to the public’s attention just before Christmas?

    Happy New Year, everyone. We have a number of Nolans to carry on the name.

    Roberta Nolan


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