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The Struggles of Men

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley
The Truth Network Radio
November 12, 2023 2:37 pm

The Struggles of Men

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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November 12, 2023 2:37 pm

Hosted by Jane Pauley. In our cover story, Lee Cowan looks at how the gender gap in higher education is affecting men. Also: Mo Rocca talks with Bradley Cooper about his new film, "Maestro," the story of composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein; Kelefa Sanneh sits down with Alicia Keys to discuss her new off-Broadway musical, "Hell's Kitchen."

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CBS Sunday Morning
Jane Pauley

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That's w o n d e r y p o d slash wondery pod or text wondery pod to 500 500 to try audible for free for 30 days. Good morning. I'm Jane Pauley and this is Sunday morning. For decades, there have been efforts to expand opportunities for America's women and girls, long overdue efforts which have enjoyed no small success. Now, some say it's men and boys who need our attention. Not all, of course, but by some measures, there are growing signs the American male is in distress, achieving less, stressing more, challenged by a changing role in society.

Lee Cowan examines the concerns and the search for solutions. Masculinity has become a pretty touchy subject in this country, so much so that it ranks right up there with politics and religion as topics too uncomfortable to talk about. The fact that you can't even acknowledge the problems of boys and men without somehow giving up your commitment to women and girls is what's gotten us into this mess. So you can't even have the conversation. You can't have the conversation. Is there a crisis of manhood in this country?

We'll try to have that conversation coming up on Sunday morning. Once again, Bradley Cooper is both the star and the director of a new movie. As Mo Rocca will tell us, it's about another man of many talents, late conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein. Leonard Bernstein didn't do things halfway. So to portray the great maestro, Bradley Cooper had to be all in. Were you actually conducting the musicians there?

I've never experienced anything like it in my life, and I may never again. Bradley Cooper explores love and marriage and music later on Sunday morning. Platinum selling singer Alicia Keys is also at work on a new project, an off-Broadway musical inspired by her own life. We'll hear all about it from our Kellever Sane. Hell's Kitchen, a new musical, tells the story of a 17-year-old girl with big dreams.

Your husband is watching this musical that's about a character based on a young you maybe falling in love with some dude as a teenager. How do you feel about that? We know it's loosely based on.

Loosely? So don't feel over here asking me all these type of questions. Ahead on Sunday morning, the reinvention of Alicia Keys. On this Veterans Day weekend, Seth Doan will show us how America's fallen are honored at places far from home, along with a story from Steve Hartman, opinion from a physician whose name you might be familiar with, Dr. Timothy Johnson, and more.

It's a Sunday morning for the 12th of November, 2023, and we'll be back in a moment. You're doing a lot of shopping this holiday season, but are you saving a lot? With Rakuten, you can save big on holiday gifts from your favorite brands. They give shoppers like you cash back on top of the biggest sales of the year.

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That's R-A-K-U-T-E-N. This is Stephen Colbert here to talk to you about The Late Show Pod Show, which is our podcast of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. I'm here with my producer, Becca. Becca, what can people expect on the podcast?

The extended moments, for sure. For instance, if I'm talking to Tom Hanks for like 20 minutes, only 14 of that ever makes it to air because we just don't have time. Tom's a jabber jaw.

He's a chatty cat. It's all gold because it's Tom Hanks and we put that on the podcast. We do. Yeah. That's value added.

Listen to The Late Show Pod Show with Stephen Colbert wherever you get your podcasts. It wasn't so long ago that men enjoyed a clear advantage in American society, but these days a different story is emerging. Men and boys falling behind and sometimes into despair.

Lee Cowan takes a closer look. At the University of Vermont not too long ago, it was move-in day for the class of 2027. About a thousand incoming freshmen were meeting their roommates, finding their dorm rooms and just generally getting settled on campus.

592 was that big. Now you'd be forgiven if at first glance you thought that this was an all women's college. Well, 62% of this year's class are women. Josie, what's your roommate's name? And that's a gender gap that has earned Burlington, Vermont a nickname.

Girlington. You see six or seven women for every three or four men. Yeah. As UVM's vice provost for enrollment, Jay Jacobs's job is all about student diversity. And these days, the male-female divide is now part of that equation. Sure, I thought about racial and ethnic diversity. Sure, at a public flagship in the state of Vermont, I've thought about geographic diversity, never gender diversity like that. But that's where we are.

That's where we are. UVM, though, is hardly an outlier. Nationwide, women do make up almost 60% of college undergraduates. In 1972, when Title IX was passed to help improve gender equality on campus, men were 13 percentage points more likely to get an undergraduate degree than women. Today, though, it's women who are 15 percentage points more likely to get a degree than men. So we have a bigger gender gap today than we did when we passed laws to help women and girls.

It just flipped. Richard Reeves is a Brookings Institution senior fellow, and he says, shockingly, no one has really been able to explain why so many men are so absent in higher education. What is known is the gender disparity starts pretty early, as early as kindergarten, where girls are just generally the stronger sex in academics. If you look at high school GPA and those who are getting the best grades in high school, two-thirds of them are girls.

Those with the lowest grades, two-thirds of them are boys. It's been theorized that girls and women are just really fulfilling their destiny, that once the limitations on their achievements were lifted, they soared. Reeves, though, is so worried that he's launched the American Institute for Boys and Men, because he fears that things have changed so fast, it's left many boys and men struggling to catch up, not just in the classroom, but at work and at home too. What does it mean to be a successful man today? That was a question that was pretty easy to answer a generation or two ago.

But actually, what is the answer today? And a lot of these guys just don't know. In short, he says, millions of boys and men don't understand how or where they fit anymore.

And the reaction is to generally disconnect. Men's participation in the labor market, for example, has dropped more than seven percentage points just in the last 50 years. 21% of men report binge drinking. That's almost double the rate of women. And men account for nearly 80% of suicide deaths. That's four times the rate for women.

The two most commonly used words by suicidal men to describe themselves were useless and worthless. But even to suggest there's some kind of male crisis these days is pretty perilous. Nearly raising it will cause people to eye roll and say, really? 10,000 years of patriarchy?

Now you're worried? After all, women still earn only about 80 cents for every dollar earned by a man. Only a fraction of CEOs in the Fortune 500 are women. And they make up just a quarter of the members of Congress.

And so far, no U.S. presidents. Numbers that leave UVM students Sarah Wood and Maxine Flotiliza pretty skeptical that men are just treading water. I think it's really interesting that there is kind of like a big fuss about like, not a fuss, but it's a conversation that people are having. But I don't think it's necessarily a problem. I think that just the fact that the playing field has been a little bit more evened out shouldn't be the reason as to why men don't really know where they fit. Sure. Do we need to do more to encourage more women into politics and into boardrooms?

Yes. But meanwhile, can I not see that one group are struggling here and another group are struggling there? And if I can't do that, we're in really deep trouble.

And those in the most trouble, he says, are working class and African-American boys and men. Before it used to be you graduated high school. Goodbye. You're on your own. A lot of people said, hey, you're out of my house or it's time for you to go.

But we're understanding now that those supports need to continue. Principal Hill, how are you? I'm wonderful. Good to see you.

Good to see you. Von Washington is with the Kalamazoo Promise in Michigan. It's a program that offers high school graduates and Kalamazoo scholarships covering up to the entire cost of in-state college tuition.

The impact? Well, the number of Kalamazoo women getting a college degree did increase by about 45 percent. But the number of Kalamazoo men getting college degrees didn't budge. We're working with them. We're talking to them. We're trying to find out what is it that even with this opportunity, you have some of the same challenges as someone in another community that doesn't have this opportunity. One solution, though, that does seem to be working is making sure that those men who are struggling have a place to freely admit they're struggling. Do he have a cell number you can give me? Staffers with the Promise are tracking down those men still eligible for the scholarship, finding out why they never used it, and helping them get what they need to finally do it.

Like Daniel Joffrey. I just started wandering around in life and doing random jobs, getting tired of random jobs. We welcome you here to the Kalamazoo Promise. Now I'm here.

Need help up here? He joined with dozens of other men at what the Promise was calling the Males of Promise event. It's important that you put something positive out here on your name and on your future.

It was as much straight talk as it was straight out party. Dennis Martin graduated high school six years ago. He says had the Promise not tracked him down, he might not have realized that he was indeed ready for something more.

I feel like now I have the discipline to be in a five-year program or four-year program but as a kid I feel like I was still bouncing off the walls and my mind didn't know what exactly is out there. Back at UVM, administrators have changed their marketing and communication strategies to reach out to men, especially those who might not think they want to go to college at all. The college is also hiring a diversity coordinator to focus specifically on helping men. The world was built for people like you and me to succeed so why do we need to help men succeed here on our campus even more. But I think once people start to understand the nuances and the challenges that we're talking about here today, Lee, people understand that all students need support. Junior Lucas Romer doesn't see it as some kind of affirmative action, putting the finger on the scale for men. He sees it as a way to help anyone who's been hanging on and feeling left out. I think there's ways to promote both femininity and masculinity on campus equally well.

I think there's definitely a path forward that would be beneficial to everybody. The coordinator of the Men and Masculinities program will be housed right here in the Women and Gender Equity Center. Now that's pretty ironic to some, but it's also a recognition that men's problems can indeed coexist with those of women.

You lift the edges up, the center will be lifted up as well. And here the edges include men. It's the kind of reaction to a very real problem of boys and men that Richard Reeves says needs now to be the rule and not the exception. This is not a made up crisis of masculinity.

This is an actual hard fact. There's real suffering here. And if we don't address real suffering, then what are we here for? Hey, listeners, it's Mr. Bawlin here.

And I'm here to tell you about my brand new podcast. It's called Mr. Bawlin's Medical Mysteries. Why medical mysteries? Well, we've all been there. Turning to the internet to self-diagnose our inexplicable pains, debilitating body aches, sudden fevers and strange rashes.

Though our minds tend to spiral to worst case scenarios, it's usually nothing. But for an unlucky few, these unsuspecting symptoms can start the clock ticking on a terrifying medical mystery like the unexplainable death of a retired firefighter whose body was found at home by his son, except it looked like he had been cremated or the time when an entire town became ill with nausea and chills and the local doctor chalked it up to being food poisoning until people started jumping from buildings and seeing tigers on their ceilings. Each terrifying true story will be sure to keep you up at night. Follow Mr. Bawlin's Medical Mysteries wherever you get your podcasts.

Prime members can listen early and ad free on Amazon Music. For two decades, FBI agent Robert Hansen sold secrets to the Kremlin. He violated everything that my FBI stood for. Hansen was the most damaging spy in FBI history, and his betrayals didn't end there. Do I hate him? No, I don't hate anyone. But his motive, I would love to know what his true motive is so I can get that out of me.

How did he do it? Why? Follow Agent of Betrayal to Double Life of Robert Hansen wherever you get your podcasts. You can listen ad free on the Amazon Music or Wondery app. Twenty years ago, the diary of Alicia Keys made a huge splash on the music scene. Next month, she'll celebrate the re-release of that Grammy-winning album. But Alicia Keys has another project, a very personal one now in the works.

With Cala Fosante, we take note. This is what I've been dreaming about the whole time. And we're here.

And now I have my own key card. Opens up all the doors. For more than a dozen years, pop star Alicia Keys has been working on a musical. Then after Empire Up, we're going to do work on it.

Now Hell's Kitchen is being performed here at the Public Theater in New York. What took so long? Good things take time. You've been working on this since even before my first son was born.

Egypt just turned 13. He's never known a mom who's not working on this show. Facts. I was trying to figure out, well, Dad, maybe Hell's Kitchen is my first kid. For Keys, it's been a labor of love. And she says she's been laboring. It's hard.

Work is hard. Did you ever lose faith that this would actually work? No. Never?

No. You're just like, well, here we are. It's year seven.

We're just continuing to grind. I don't know. I didn't doubt the process. Hell's Kitchen is named for the New York neighborhood where she lived as a kid. Geographically, it's just a few feet from Broadway. But to Keys, it felt much farther. When I lived there, it was how it sounds. There was a lot of desolation there. There was a lot of drug addiction there. There was a lot of prostitution there. It was side by side with the desolation and the possibility.

And I think that's what kind of gave me a lot of hunger and grit. The musical is narrated by 17-year-old Allie, who loves music, loves a boy, and tries to love her mother. What's the biggest difference between you and this character, Allie, that you created?

See, her mama lets her get away with a little more backtalk than my mama would have let me get away with. Keys says the show is only loosely based on her own life story. There's no way Alicia Keys only started playing piano when she was 17.

That's true. I started playing piano as seven. And by 12, she was composing songs. By 15, she had a recording contract.

And at 20, a number one record. Hell's Kitchen includes most of her biggest hits, along with four new songs. Is it a little bit like putting together a set list? There's some songs that's got to go in the show no matter what. For sure. I think that it's all about balance. Some of her most beloved songs have been rearranged or recontextualized.

When you hear that there's a musical about a 17-year-old girl and Teenage Love Affair is going to be in the musical, you're thinking one thing turns out to be something a little different. Facts. Thank you, brother. See? You understand. Keys says she's been involved in everything. What was it like to try to find the actress that could play the character that is loosely based on you? Thank you.

You can't pretend to be from New York City if you don't understand the nuances of it. It just won't work. And so I have definitely been a major pain in the ass to all the casting agents.

The pain in the ass-ness is through the roof. 17-year-old Malia Joy Moon is making her professional theater debut. Keys also pays close attention to who's in the audience. Who are you most nervous about seeing this show?

Hmm. Well, my mama just saw it. Can we put it on the marquee?

What does she say? Mama loves it. Can we put that out?

Absolutely. Can't put it on TV, but you can put it on the marquee. We're here on Broadway. This place is famous because they have a collection of posters for shows that flop. For shows that died young.

Former New York Times theater critic Ben Brantley has seen clips of Hell's Kitchen, but with the show still in previews, the theater did not make a ticket available to him. So when you heard that the star Alicia Keys was working on a musical partly based on her own life, what was your reaction? Well, I mean, her voice has certainly been part of the oral wallpaper of my life. It is a great selling point and that's the lore. There is a term for shows that are built around pop hits, jukebox musicals.

When I was using them in the early days when they were first emerging in droves, I suppose I used it, if not with content, then at least with cynicism because it seemed like such a lazy way to put a show together. Work on it and the new key is first or gospel. He says the fact that Hell's Kitchen changes up some of the most familiar songs to better fit the plot might help de-jukeboxify the show.

We're not maximizing some of those additional sounds that kind of help it grow and make it be sick. I like it that she's doing it herself. I like it when familiar songs sound fresh. You'd like to think that especially her fan base will have listened to those songs so often that they may be sort of startled. Brantley identifies 2001 as the beginning of the jukebox musical era. The one that you can blame a lot of really bad stuff on is Mamma Mia, which was ABBA.

ABBA. But it was a huge hit that took the ABBA song book and then just jimmied it into a kind of a sweet soap opera-ish plot. It was ridiculous.

It was really tacky. And when I saw it in New York, I loved it because it opened just after 9-11 and there was obviously a great sense of release for the people listening to this music and the mindlessness of it. He says that musicals have been borrowing from pop music for decades, although in the old days musicals were pop music. Young adults in the 1950s or late 1940s would be singing along with some Enchanted Evening from South Pacific. And a lot of the top-selling albums in those era were original Broadway original cast recordings. Another kind of jukebox musical would be a concept album that someone's turned into a full-fledged musical.

Jesus Christ Superstar actually started as an album. Do you think the jukebox musical era has been good overall for Broadway and for musicals? My friend and current Times critic Jesse Green calls the jukebox musical the cockroach of musicals.

I don't feel that way. I did at one point, but you know, I kind of learned to stop worrying and love the jukebox, selectively. The cockroach, another New York classic. Yes, yes.

Cultural cannibalizing cockroach. Hell's Kitchen might be a different kind of jukebox musical, but it's got a familiar destination in mind. Ben Brantley says it's practically preordained to wind up on Broadway. It's the most expensive production the public has ever mounted.

Oh really? From what I've seen, it looks like a pretty big production. But it seems to me, I mean, if people say they're not thinking it's going to Broadway, they're lying.

I think that pretty much everyone assumes it will transfer. Including Alicia Keys. The whole run is sold out. Yes, the public theater. Is it important to you that this show eventually might move 40 blocks north to Broadway? My eyes are definitely on that.

It would be a dream come true, really. I'm Mo Rocca, and I'm excited to announce season four of my podcast Mobituaries. I've got a whole new bunch of stories to share with you about the most fascinating people and things who are no longer with us. From famous figures who died on the very same day to the things I wish would die, like buffets.

Listen to Mobituaries with Mo Rocca on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Astronaut Frank Borman died this past Tuesday. He was 95. Commander of Apollo 8, the first space mission to orbit the moon in 1968. My biggest remembrance about the Saturn pie was the noise.

Oh, there's the rumble in that building. What a beautiful flight. Borman and fellow astronauts James Lovell and William Anders had traveled farther from the earth than any human had ever ventured. Man is farther away from home than he's ever been before. A hundred times farther away.

We're looking forward now, of course, till the day after tomorrow when we'll be just 60 miles away from home. Their Christmas sojourn came at the end of a particularly grim year for their nation. The United States had been shaken by continuing involvement in the war in Vietnam and the assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While Borman flew in space twice, he never actually set foot on the lunar surface.

He would later confess he had no interest in doing so. There's no way that I would have accepted the risk to go back to pick up rocks. By the way, it was on that Apollo 8 mission that the astronauts first witnessed Earth rise. The Earth as seen above the surface of the moon. That photograph lives on, a permanent testament to their history-making voyage.

We got thousands of telegrams after the flight, but the one that struck me the most, thank you Apollo 8, you saved 1968. Steve Hartman this morning takes us to a classroom where imagination truly takes flight. At the Trinity Leadership School near Dallas, Sonya White's first graders are still flying high, still reliving their amazing one-day field trip south of the border. Where are you going? Mexico.

To Mexico, I love your outfit. It was my first time on a plane. We went inside a cloud. I saw the ocean.

Is that your first time seeing the ocean? At this point, you've got to be wondering, how could a school afford this? What kind of teacher does it take to fly a class of first graders to Mexico for a day?

A very clever one. So just to be clear, you did not go to Mexico. We did not. You did not get on a plane. We did not. You never left the class.

We did not. What you're about to see is a testament to the power of imagination and the magic teachers have to harness it. After Sonya's students told her their one wish was to fly on a plane, she went full throttle on the pre-tent, created travel documents for each child, and then boarded them on their flight to Mexico. Okay, guys, we are now at 13,000 feet.

You may take out a snack. We had a little turbulence. Boy, it did not scare me. But my friend Lorenzo had a rough landing.

Really? What happened to him? He was like.

The buy-in really was remarkable. One of my students saw somebody that night and they said, what are you doing here? I thought you were in Mexico. And he said, yeah, we were.

We got back at three. And that's when I was like, they really think we went to Mexico. I'm riding you from Mexico.

Teachers everywhere could use more resources, but the best always seem to figure out a way to take kids places, often without so much as a bus ride. Did this fuel your desire for more travel? Yes. Do you know North Korea? Yeah, sure. Probably I do not want to go there next.

I guess even pretend flights come with travel warnings. Yes. They called him Maestro, a conductor, composer, and music educator of national renown. The great Leonard Bernstein is the subject of a new film starring and directed by actor Bradley Cooper. Mo Rocca on Bernstein's remarkable and complicated life.

Last summer we had really good grapes. This past Thursday, Nina Bernstein Simmons, Alexander Bernstein, and Jamie Bernstein gathered at their family's Connecticut home to talk about Maestro. So how long do we have to do this for?

We need to build up a very strong connection. The movie that Bradley Cooper has made about their late parents. And how much time do you all spend in the house now?

Every chance we get, you know, weekends and lots of summertime. And it's heaven here. Much of the movie was filmed in this house, where the children share cherished memories of their father, composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, and their mother, actress Felicia Montealegre. And if you're wondering how these three feel about the movie Cooper has made, I think we have an intruder in this house. Oh, stop it! Bradley Cooper not only co-stars, he also co-wrote the movie and directed it. So much! Much of this movie was. We shot so much.

Many things occurred right here. The creative person sits alone in this great studio that you see here and writes all by himself and communicates with the world in a very private way. It's Cooper's second film as a director. The first was the hit A Star Is Born with Lady Gaga.

Still, he needed the consent of the three living Bernsteins to make the movie. He met with firstborn Jamie in a New York restaurant. I eat with my hands all the time. And I'm eating the spinach with my hands. And I recognize it. And then I either apologize for something and you said, that's what my dad used to do. Yeah. Corn on the cob was his favorite thing.

And I remember in that moment, I thought, oh, this might happen. The young American born assistant conductor of the Philharmonic Symphony, Leonard Bernstein. Cooper immersed himself in the life of Leonard Bernstein, who from the age of 25 was a bold-faced name in American culture. The longtime conductor of the New York Philharmonic.

Today we're going to talk about the meat and potatoes of music, the main course. The man who made classical music approachable through his televised young people's concerts on CBS. And the composer of symphonies and landmark musicals, including West Side Story and Candide.

So proud is to make sure that you make space so that the high notes can soar. Becoming Bernstein meant looking like him at various stages. And the transformation is startling.

And it took four years, four years of tests. The makeup is amazing. Oh, yeah.

If summer doesn't sing in you, then nothing sings in you. You may have read that Cooper's makeup includes a prosthetic nose that the non-Jewish actor used to portray the Jewish Bernstein. The Bernstein's themselves are more than fine with that. I just want to point out that Bradley has a very substantial nose. He does. I don't think anybody noticed that before the fracas happened. It's the absolute non-issue of all time.

I'm thinking of a number. But Maestro is not a womb to tomb biopic. Instead, Cooper decided to explore the relationship between Bernstein and his lesser known wife, portrayed by Carey Mulligan. Oh, well, I was listening.

You were wonderful. Our mom was the most elegant, delicious person. Fairs was a love story, yes, but complicated by the fact that Bernstein also had affairs with men. She didn't go into the marriage blindly.

Not at all. She knew exactly what the deal was. They obviously loved each other to death. They never fought in front of us. We never saw any darkness. We felt a lot.

They kept everything very well tidied and pretty well hidden. But as a young woman, Jamie had questions, as depicted in the film. Because the rumors aren't true. Her father didn't tell her the truth. No, darling. I know exactly who you are.

Give it a whirl. In her 2018 memoir, Jamie reported that shortly after their wedding, her mother wrote to her father, quote, I'm willing to accept you as you are without being a martyr and sacrificing myself on the L.B. altar. And you wrote in your book, but the truth was she had done exactly that. Yeah, that's how I feel. Maybe you don't feel that way, but I feel like it cost her everything to stick with it. It was really tough for her, and I think it contributed to her early death in a way. I wouldn't go that far. I think, you know, probably she regretted a lot of things looking back. Felicia Montelegre died of lung cancer in 1978 at the age of 56.

She had a wonderful, rich life and mostly wonderful marriage and a lot of love. There's a price for being in my brother's orbit. You know that. As much as Maestro is a love story about a marriage, it's also a story about Leonard Bernstein's love of music, including Mahler's Second Symphony. I've never experienced anything like it in my life, and I may never again. Were you actually conducting the musicians there? Yes.

It took me six and a half years of working on it for six minutes and 25 seconds of music. Leonard Bernstein died from a heart attack in 1990 at the age of 72. He and Bradley Cooper never met. Do you miss him? Oh, yeah, man. What do you miss about him? It's hard to talk about. I don't know. We shared something very special, the four of us.

It's hard to even articulate. But he was with us. He was with me certainly throughout the entire time.

His energy has somehow found its way to me that I really do feel like I know him. Today was Veterans Day, the day we honor Americans who've served in the military. Of course, some of our fallen veterans lie in lands far from home. All the same, Seth Doan tells us, their sacrifice is not forgotten.

It's a continuing tribute half a world away with a simple brush and bucket of water. Three days a week, a team of 20 here in southern Italy washes each of the 7,861 military gravestones of troops from places like Connecticut and Missouri. This cemetery south of Rome honors American military war debt. Most were killed in campaigns that led to liberating Rome from the Nazis during World War II. Before pouring into your grandfather's history and doing all this research, did you know that places like this, cemeteries like this existed?

No. I didn't know anything. Don Royster promised her mother she'd come to Italy to honor her grandfather, Lieutenant James A. Calhoun. He was a Tuskegee airman, part of that famed African American U.S. Army unit. My grandmother, I believe, was his neighbor.

And they met and fell in love. He was black. She was white.

It was kind of a big deal. My grandmother's family wasn't happy about it. So when Lieutenant Calhoun died during the war, Royster's family believed her grandmother's story, that he was missing in action, not buried overseas in one of these military cemeteries managed by the U.S. government. But as Don Royster told Melanie Resto, an army veteran who runs this cemetery, her mother uncovered some old letters from the War Department. And I remember her coming to me and saying, my father is buried in a cemetery in Italy. And we were like, what are you talking about? He was missing in action.

She said, he wasn't. And he has a grave. As superintendent, part of Resto's job is to collect and preserve those stories. The promise that was made, time will not dim the glory of their deeds, is a promise we hold true today. That promise was made by General of the Army's John J. Pershing, who was appointed to the American Battle Monuments Commission by President Warren Harding. In 1923, 100 years ago, Harding signed legislation establishing this effort to honor fallen and missing service members. Sometimes they had war dead overseas in Europe, such a far land. Today, service members killed in action. He's automatically flown home in a matter of what, 12, 15 hours max. He can be home back in the States.

But back then, it was not the case. We had war dead overseas. Today, the commission manages 26 permanent burial grounds and 32 memorials, monuments and markers. In far off places like the Solomon Islands, Tunisia, the Philippines, and Panama, there are 12 cemeteries in France. This cemetery is a closed cemetery. It's strictly for war dead from World War II from Sicily to Rome, specifically that area and that period. So no spouses are buried here.

None of their children are buried here, like they would at a normal national cemetery, such as Arlington. But like Arlington, the grounds are meticulously kept. How important is it for you that it is perfect, that it's precise? Nothing is perfect.

We work to create a perfect. Dimitri Manuzzi is part of that team of 20 gardeners. Every day we honor these guys who gave us her life for liberty. You find your work gardening it as a way to honor the fallen.

Yeah. 94-year-old Silvestro Martufi grew up nearby and remembers the allies' landing. Every time I pass by here, he says, I salute them. You'll give a salute when you pass by. I was very close to these guys, and on Sunday, when I make my visit, he told us, I talk with them.

For me, this place is very close to my heart. Ana Corocci, who's 88, recalls when they built the cemetery. When they started to work here, I saw all of the body bags on the ground, she remembers. I asked my mother, and she said, these are all of the soldiers who were fighting for us.

And I said, oh dear, so many. She was just a kid. It's still an emotional thing after all these years. We'll have a small ceremony we call sanding of the grave.

Dawn Royster did not think she'd get emotional. You know, I've always just thought he was missing in action. And even now, it's sort of hitting me that he's right here. And that's incredible to me.

Really incredible. As she does for every visiting family member, Melanie Resto rubs sand from the nearby beach of Natuno, where the Allies landed, bringing these names into focus again. It seems like a royal person would be buried here. It is stunningly beautiful, impeccably maintained, very elegant. What an incredible place to spend your resting time, being watched and taken care of every day. It's all part of keeping that promise made 100 years ago.

Time will not dim the glory of their deeds. Last Tuesday, voters in Ohio became the latest to enshrine reproductive rights into their state constitution, which prompts thoughts on this deeply divisive issue from Dr. Timothy Johnson. I am a Protestant minister who became an emergency room doctor and then medical editor for ABC News for 25 years. In all those positions, I saw firsthand the impact of abortion on individual lives and families. And I have concluded that the best way to think about abortion and to achieve possible compromise is to be both anti-abortion and pro-choice. Most of us are instinctively anti-abortion.

I personally have never met anyone who thinks it's a trivial procedure. And since most abortions result from unwanted pregnancies, the logical answer is to make contraceptive birth control measures widely and affordably available. If you are anti-abortion, you must also be pro-birth control. Being pro-choice is far more complicated. It involves the emotional issue of when life begins and what choices are accordingly morally acceptable. When does life in the womb reach a stage when abortion would be more logically thought of as murder or evil and therefore prohibited? For many of us, that stage occurs when the developing fetus is capable of living on its own outside the womb. And I do support women who before that stage thoughtfully conclude that another life to support will be destructive to her and or her family.

A classic example is a mother already overwhelmed by poverty. If states insist on compelling women to carry the term, they must also provide resources for adoption or other child support after birth. Otherwise, they are simply pro-birth and not pro-life. I also vigorously disagree with those who would force a woman to experience the terrible trauma of completing a pregnancy caused by incest or rape. Finally, I do believe that abortion is a decision best made by a woman and her family, not by a group of strangers, usually men, making legislative or legal decisions. Under our clear constitutional separation of church and state, it certainly should not be made by those in power based on their own religious beliefs. We are all entitled to our own religious considerations, but we should not impose them by law on others who may believe very differently. In short, a possible compromise to our abortion debate could be to unite in supporting birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies while also preserving the right of women to make difficult choices affecting them and their families.

That is a strategy that people with both anti-abortion and pro-choice views should embrace. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning. Hey Prime members! You can listen to CBS Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley ad-free on Amazon Music. Download the Amazon Music app today. Or you can listen ad-free with Wondery Plus in Apple Podcasts. Before you go, tell us about yourself by completing a short survey at slash survey. Hi everyone! I'm Drew Barrymore, host of, well, The Drew Barrymore Show. And welcome to The Drew Barrymore Show Podcast. Stream from the car, the train, the shower. Wait, what?

That doesn't work. Well, you never know. Whatever you're into, just take a moment to see the sunny side of life with us. I can't wait to go on this journey together. Hear the new episodes of The Drew Barrymore Show Podcast every day, Monday through Friday. And on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-12 16:11:27 / 2023-11-12 16:28:19 / 17

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