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The Greatest Generation?

November 26, 2011

I am told that I am a member of the “greatest generation.” I think the term “generation” is appropriate because all the heroes in WWII were not in the military. I recall well that civilians suffered rationing of sugar, tires, gasoline etc. I recall vividly that my mother worked first in an ammunition factory that made 30 and 45 caliber bullets, and then in a shipyard as a welder of landing craft for use in the war. It is possible that I have taken a ride in a landing ship my mother helped weld together. My father, a coal miner, worked 6 and 7 days a week mining coal in a deep mine. The military were in the front lines in our desperate struggle to end fascism, of course, but there were millions of overworked civilians who turned out the ships, planes, tanks etc. in furtherance of the war effort. They rightly deserve to be brought within the definition of “greatest generation” as they sacrificed their children and their husbands and wives to the war effort. Still reeling from a Depression that seemed to be without end, America and its people were at war. The heroic civilians “back home” bought Victory bonds and stamps; they recapped their tires. My now deceased wife’s older brother was an Air Corps pilot and was killed. My mother in law was a “Gold Mother” entitled to hang a little flag with a star on it in her front window as a result of this tragedy.  All four of my mother in law’s children are now deceased, two of whom (including my now deceased wife) held doctorates. Draft dodgers in that day and age were universally vilified and sometimes beaten up. (Newt and Cheney, both latter day draft dodgers, would have dodged the draft of that day at their peril.)

I am rather new at this business of blogging and consider the few posts to date to be introductory, so I will finish this phase and get to commentary on Glass-Steagall, Sherman, Citizens United et al. The foregoing should have given you a sense of where I came from and what I believe. Gerald E.

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  1. Wow, I’m learning things about my past that I did not know, had no idea my grandmother slaved and WELDED in furtherance of the war effort. I knew she was a tough old bird, but didn’t know any of this. (In the interest of clarification I am the blogger’s nephew) Thanks Uncle! I’m lucky enough to have received many letters from my uncle, and very much enjoy his political acumen, and am ecstatic that he is now blogging. With so much right wing bullshit and static filling the bandwidth it’s good to hear the TRUTH for a change.

    Keep ’em coming, Uncle G!

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