This post is to honor my deceased dad and two uncles that served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and my 89 year old father-in-law who served in the Army Air Force in England. None of them were at Pearl Harbor, but I think that day, “The Day That Would Live In Infamy”, December 7, 1941 was their inspiration for serving their country. For those not familiar with the date, the Japanese orchestrated a surprise attack on the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii killing over 2400 service men and women including civilian children. The United States declared war on Japan the next day and the United States was officially involved in WW II. We had been neutral to the conflict that had began two years prior, but Pearl Harbor was the catalyst for what I feel was one of the few just wars.
16,000,000 men and women served during WW II, 290,000 killed in action and 640,000 were wounded. Sacrifices were also made on the home front by the majority of those that could not serve. They referred to it as the “War Movement,” consisting of “Victory Gardens” rationing and women going to work in factories because of all the men that had gone off to war. This was also economically hard on the population of the United States because the Great Depression had just ended about two years prior to Pearl Harbor.
The are refereed to as the “Greatest Generation” because they showed true patriotism in a truly United States, suffered the emotional consequences of being in combat and came back to re-build the United States into the most prosperous and greatest country in the world.
I was born in 1947 so the above is from what I’ve read and heard from people that participated in WW II either as civilians or military personnel like my parents, grandparents, other relatives and WW II vets I have met through my participation in the VFW. I only hope it doesn’t take another day like Pearl Harbor or 9/11 to get the citizens of this country back on track, working together for a truly United States. I think we have to remember the famous quote of the late President John F. Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country!” Volunteer if you can.
Isn’t it time for us, Democrats, Republicans and Independents, to become more aware of each others needs and stop being so rigid about party lines. We are lucky to live in the best country in the world, partly due to the efforts of “The Greatest Generation.” With cooperation and concern for those less fortunate this country cold be even better. No one in this country should have to go without food, shelter or medical care, but we should establish programs to educate and train those that feel they don’t have to in some way work for these benefits if physically able.
Thank You WW II vets for your service! We can only hope to live up to your example.