"Who Murdered the Veterans?"
from the book, "Petrified Lightning"

Petrified Lightning

"Who Murdered the Veterans?"

During the Depression years, 700 World War I veterans were employed by the federal government to build roads at the Matecumbe Keys, Florida. At the nearest town to the mainland a train sat in readiness to evacuate the men in case of a hurricane. However, when the storm did occur, in September 1935, the train did not leave for hours. When it did leave, it was destroyed by the storm. The cause of the long delay in getting the rescue train moving is not known for sure. The only real conclusion was that pure neglect doomed many of the veterans.

The men were lashed by winds blowing 200 miles per hour while great storm waves swept many to sea. When the storm abated and rescue teams arrived they found total destruction; almost nothing man—made was standing. As Ernest Hemingway later wrote, "Who murdered the veterans?"