As you know I have loved reading for as long as my memory can recall; what you might not know is I equally love history. I learned about James Doolittle when I was a teenager from all the reading I did about WWII. I was super interested in what was a huge life event of my grandparents and parents early lives. My grandmother Field had suggested that I read Mein Kampf to see how ideas form in the mind of evil men. I think that I might have been the only Jr. High student that willing wrote a history paper on it ever at my school. When I met Matt and learned he loved History as much as I did, I knew it was meant to be. He helped me learn even more about the great warriors and leaders of our nation’s past especially Patton. I introduced him to the not so great people of our past, (yes, we are ying and yang). I truly believe to know how your country moves forward you need to learn from the past so you don’t create the same problems that already happened and have that vicious circle, or groundhog day, re-occur again and again and again.
A little history, personally connected to me that might just put our national worries into perspective. My father was born November 1938, the year that Adolf Hitler was named Man of the Year by Time Magazine. Yup- Man of the Year, go figure…
My father was born the third day of Krystallnacht which was happening in my grandmother’s home country, can you imagine the worries she carried with her? She listened on the radio or read it in the paper, i’m not sure which, of the destruction of homes, businesses and terrorizing of a religion/race. My grandfather Field was Jewish, after their little boy was born they decided to change their last name to Field, instead of their last name Berkman, because of the persecution happening to the Jewish people, they were worried about persecution in the states too.
The first week of my father’s life, Italy also joined in the persecution with their own version of the Nuremberg Laws, which banned marriages between Germans and the Jewish; denied citizenship to all Jewish people, they became “subjects”; fined jews substantially upon leaving the country, if they were lucky enough to find somewhere else to go, and ultimately denied business dealings with any Jewish people although they had already lost their jobs if they were medical or city/state employees anyway.
That same week in the US a clergy man uttered the first anti-semitic words publicly remembered being uttered on the radio. This is what our nation’s citizens and the visa’d German’s (who were given the chance to become US citizens) were going through while Germany was taking actions against their own people.
Four years later 1942, our nation came under attack, when the Doolittle Raider's flew their mission my dad was three. Again, imagine the concerns his parents and their friends had about raising their kids in the world they were living in. They had no idea how long this war would last, they had no idea if anyone would come to the mainland and attack their homes too. They did what had to be done, they rationed, they worked, they lived, loved, had kids and raised their children to love their nation. Because of the war they also had to be part of the village that helped other children if their fathers ended up as a casualty of war. They looked out for each other, My dad always tells me that you always knew the other mothers were watching, you didn't mouth off to them, you respected your elders, this was the way children were raised. Only some of us can imagine sending our loved ones off to war; never knowing if they would come home alive or in one piece, this was what they lived with, those single stars in their windows, the strong work ethics learned from building munitions, running ration lines and whatever other job they held. Women became wager earners and caretakers. They did it all. Not one of those women couldn't understand what it was like to work like a man, or raise children by themselves, they became their own person. They were the original woman's lib, no matter what feminists might say. They became independent. I am in awe of those women.
If you don’t know anything about those years, or don’t remember what you learned in high school or college, or never learned about it at all, maybe you should start by spending this week, and tomorrow especially, learning about what spurred on what ended up reaching our own nation’s soil and why we continue our remembrance of December 7th.
Hopefully this changes our perspective of what we are actually going through as a nation with all the fear and supposition of what Pres. Elect Trump is going to do. We are not living in the 1940’s, our world as a whole is not taken over by the lust and desire of four evil leaders wanting to control the world. We need to remember the unity of those days for the greater good, and remember the freedom that we do actually have. We are acting like our lives are worse than our grandparents, not once has anyone talked about exterminating a whole population or anything close to it! Let’s get real folks, we are not living the extremism that is being relayed by the media or celebrities want you to believe.
Their young men, 18 years, and a few years older, stormed the coast of Normandy to protect our freedoms. I know young men and women, friends of my adult children, who willingly joined the armed services committed to protecting our freedoms, what are the rest of the youth doing? I hope, beyond hope, that they are looking forward and not refusing to become adults, and do their dangedest to help unify and build our country up and not really what the media showed us a few weeks back- needing safe spaces to cry when not getting their way or destroying by rioting. They are after all the future, the ones who will run this country. Will they do what needs to be done to protect it’s freedom’s like the Doolittle Raid young men did? I sure hope so.