I lived my childhood during World War II. My father was in the D-Day Invasion at Omaha Beach and one of my brothers is still MIA, lying dead somewhere because his ship was torpedoed by a Nazi sub. Back in 1943 I asked, “Mother, are the Nazis going to come here?” Not knowing what turn the war was going to take, she replied, “I can’t answer that now, but remember that is what our boys are out there fighting for — to keep them from coming here.”
There were frightening ads in magazines and newspapers for the sale of war bonds that said, “The only idea of the Nazis is to kill and conquer the world. They will rule by the whip, the sword and the gallows. Only our dead will be free. Civilization will be set back a thousand years. This time your enemies are not just people with the wrong ideas. You win this war or you die. You get no second chance. You either free the world or you lose it. This is worth the best fight of your life.”
How soon people have forgotten what the greatest generation fought for. I used to sit on the front porch and wonder, “Are the Nazis just around the block? Will they turn the corner at any time?” Now after the events at Charlottesville have unfolded, it is disturbing to realize they are just around the block. But every citizen can still be a fighter.
Emily Virginia Hale