March 18, 2011

Salute to our Soldiers

I just finished a book by Elizabeth Berg (a very good author by the way) called Dream When You're Feeling Blue. It's all about a family in Chicago during WWII and what their life was like being here in America when the war was going on in the rest of the world. I personally LOVE historical fiction, and I found it fascinating that everyone in America was so unified in supporting the war during the '40s. Every single American believed that soldiers deserved everything - letters, support, anything to boost their morale, and most importantly, respect. I mean, they were giving the ultimate sacrifice for their country, don't they deserve all that? The mother of these three sisters in the story made them sit down every single night and write to the soldiers. Not just their boyfriends but anyone who they wanted to exchange letters with. She also forced them to go to the USO dances at the Servicemen Center where the soldiers were held before they were shipped overseas. It was all about boosting their morale! They were forced to ration their food, couldn't buy anything new that was made of metal, and women took on hard labor jobs that the men left behind to put together planes and weapons for the war. Wives raised children by themselves while their husbands served thousands of miles away from them. Propaganda was all over the place encouraging people to do whatever they could to show their support for the soldiers. Disrespect for FDR or the war wasn't even tolerated. Supporting the war and those fighting in it was not an option.

Why don't we do this today? I know there aren't quite as many of our men overseas this time, but honestly I don't even think about them being over there in the Middle East but maybe once a month. I certainly respect them and am happy for what they're doing for our country, but do I really show them that? It kind of bothers me that there are so many people in opposition of the war and not in support of what our soldiers are doing for our country. I'm not saying that war is the answer and a lot of what goes on in a war is actually really horrible. But I feel like this war is not unifying our nation - rather it's divisive. I think our country really grew during WWII because everyone was in support of it together and were willing to do what it took to protect our country. I don't feel like the USA has grown together at all in the last 9 and a half years - if anything we've grown apart. We take for granted the fact that we have a safe home and a country where we have so many freedoms that others do not. Wouldn't you think that Americans of all people would want that same freedom for everyone else? Shouldn't the oppression of people in nations with tyrannic governments bother us? I think it's easier for us to turn a blind eye to it all, and just focus on our own wants and needs.

I wish I wasn't so selfish. I wish I would pray for the soldiers and the Middle Eastern people every day. I wish I acknowledged and paid attention to all the hardship that's going on over there rather than ignoring it. I wish our nation was more unified that it is.

I don't really know what my point is, but I guess just be grateful for what we have here. Even in the midst of a struggling economy we still have so much to be thankful for. We are so blessed, and most of the time we just focus on the things we don't have. My resolution is to be grateful and to be aware. I hope you resolve to do the same.


  1. Great reminder Laura! At the BWI airport there's an organization called Operation Welcome Home where volunteers make goody bags for the soldiers and line up and give them hugs and shake their hands when they get off the plane back into America. I got to do it once and it was such a great experience and reminder. You could look and see if they do something like that an airport near you!

  2. i love historical fiction too...glad you enjoyed this book. i may read it. by the way, how's the new job going!? you should tell us about it :)


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