Following Master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds being honored by President Trump on Veterans Day, his son, Chris Edmonds, appeared on “Fox & Friends” to discuss his father’s heroic efforts to save lives during the Holocaust.
“His priorities were very clear to him: he needed to protect his men, defy the enemy, and most of all honor his God,” the pastor and author of, “No Surrender,” said about his father Roddie.
Chris was led to his father’s story by discovering a New York Times article about former President Richard Nixon acquiring a townhouse from former Staff Sgt. Lester Tanner, a Jewish man who was imprisoned alongside Roddie in a German camp.
Chris went on to say, “In the middle of that article, Lester said ‘had it not been for the bravery of my master Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, I would have not met the president. He saved my life.”
Trump highlighted 96-year-old former Staff Sgt. Lester Tanner at the New York City Veterans Day parade on Monday for being one of the Jewish World War II prisoners of war saved by Roddie Edmonds’ defiance of a Nazi command.
Chris said that Roddie was a top-ranking officer at the prisoner of war camp.
Tanner and Edmond were among the Americans imprisoned by Germans in the Battle of the Bulge. Tanner witnessed Edmonds’ defiance of a Nazi camp commandment to identify Jewish soldiers, even to the point of having a gun held to his head.
In Trump’s remarks, he said: "After they arrived at a prison camp, the German commandant sent an order over the loudspeaker. The Jewish-American soldiers were all told to step out of line during the roll call the next day," Trump said.
"Knowing the terrible fate that would come to his Jewish comrades, Roddie immediately said, 'We're not doing that.' He sent orders to have every American step out of line with their Jewish brothers-in-arms.
"Roddie responded: 'Major, you can shoot me, but you'll have to kill us all.' The German turned red, got very angry, but put down his gun and walked away," Trump said.
“They all stood together as one and defied the Nazis,” Chris said.
Roddie died in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1985.