(The following was published in the Newsleader on March 5, 2010)
I serve as moderator of a coffee/discussion group that meets weekly. Recently we had as our guest author Sharon Schulte who has written a new book entitled "The Children Remember". The book is a compilation of memories of Minnesota people who were children during World War II. Sharon went throughout the state interviewing and recording the thoughts and memories of people who are now in their sixties, seventies and older to make a record of how life was at that time. I recommend the book. It is available on Amazon.com as well as most normal book sellers. It is so revealing and reflective of a simpler time when our attitudes were so different. The discussion that followed her presentation was the inspiration for this essay.
I too was a child during that time. I can remember rationing stamps, war bonds, and other sacrifices. As kids we saved tin foil. We would peel the waxed paper off gum wrappers and start a big ball of tin foil to help make ammunition. Being a youngster at that time meant that I felt my life was normal. I didn't realize we were giving up anything because of the war. I do remember the fear however. We lived near Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and we were told that spot was a great target for the bad guys. I was aware of friends of my parents going off to war. I was acutely aware of the fact that some never returned. Families of servicemen and women had flags which had stars for the number of family members who were serving in the military. They were flown proudly. The military was respected above anything else. It was a great treat to see anybody in their uniform.
The purpose of this writing is just to ask the question, "What happened?" What was the change that caused the American people to lose their regard for the military? How is it possible that while we have thousands of men and women in foreign lands putting their lives on the line for us, our lives here at home continue as normal? No one is sacrificing with rationing stamps. No one is buying war bonds. No Hollywood movie star is making movies about war heroes and helping the war effort by selling bonds. They are instead making nice with our enemies and committing treason. Fifty years ago they would have been arrested and tried as criminals. At the very least they would have been shamed out of existence. It truly is a different world.
I believe some of the changes have occurred because the Press has taken such a turn to the left that they no longer reflect the thinking of the majority of American people. TV networks report what they want you to hear and skew the news to their agenda. The "Educational Community" has become an apologist for all things liberal to the detriment of this country as a whole.
We all need to think about our feelings. I believe we need to return to a time when patriotism was the rule rather that the exception. We need to hold our military in higher esteem. We need to see the so-called Hollywood elite as what they truly are, for the most part, morons.
Finally, if we are to send troops into any war, we need to win it. Stop this nonsense of limited war. By any definition, war is an all out action. If it is worth the single life of an American soldier, it is worth winning. We have wasted far too many lives trying to be modern day war fighters. Let us end this now or just leave. If the idiots in these countries want to keep on killing each other over some perceived difference in their religions, let them have at it. Then, if any country harbors terrorists who attack this country, we should just take that country out swiftly and completely without a single American boot on the ground. We don't need to send troops. Then we would truly have a different world.
Ron Scarbro September 26, 2009
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