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Jeff W. wrote:
Thanks for sharing this Jim. It is absolutely overwhelming for me to contemplate the countless personal sacrifices that were made - both at home and abroad. I must admit to getting a bit emotional as I read. As I finished, Churchill's statement was ringing quietly in my ears:
"Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
Great link. Reminds me of this book, "If You Survive" If You Survive
The title is drawn from the author's first day on the front lines in Normandy, July 1944. His commanding officer told him "If you survive the first day, I'll promote you." Of all the men and officers he started with in his company, he was the only one to finish the war.
I have some issues of The Martin Star, the company magazine of the Glenn L Martin Company in Baltimore. The December 1942 issue is pretty bleak, and a difficult read. Gives you an idea of the mood and problems on the production line, at least early in the war. And the motivational language they were using with their employees.
First page is about the first employee to die in combat, a kid killed on Guadalcanal.
"The Year: On Monday the people of America will have come to the end of an awful and historic year....In time of piece this issue of The Martin Star would concern itself much with the Christmas spirit. But in all truth, there can be little thought of Christmas in this year, 1942. Peace on earth is now a treasure we fight for; it is no longer a simple possession."
"Here in these pages, then, are history, regret, warning, and challenge....It is a grim record. It has been made purposely grim because some Americans still seem barely aware of one great truth - that we fight for survival and that in spite of the late good news from Africa and the Solomons, most of our year has told a story of defeat and withdrawal."
"...it is unbelievable that today, after the most disastrous military and naval year in our history, absenteeism is the greatest single problem confronting the production lines..."
"The year is gone and it avails nothing to weep for its bitternesses. A new year is upon us. Within the grasp of every American, man and woman and child, is an opportunity the like of which humanity has never before been offered. It is ours to take or reject.....Today we are unique; we hold the fate of an entire civilization in our hands. We cannot be false to that trust, for it is the most sacred given to us since the Revolution."
"And so the real battle joins, on the eve of Christmas. It is fought on many fronts. For those of us who remain in America the most vital front is the home front. The mill, the factory, the farm, the production line - there lies our duty - our share in this total war. Our role is to fight with the same Christian zeal as the men in the cockpits and in the fox holes and in the tanks."
Edited on Apr 08, 2014 at 11:55 PM · View previous versions