I didn’t yet know the hardened grit of America. We were in World War II—and I was only five years old.
I only knew of playing with toy cars in the sand, marbles in dirt circles—and the Dodgers.
It was only later, in chats with family, that I recalled Mom’s ration stamps. I remembered them for meat, sugar, and other groceries. It was then that I first realized the fortitude in America’s collective will.
I can see them now, back in the fog of time, those stamps of different colors for different groceries.
I think they had stamps for gasoline too, but we didn’t have a car, so those stamps didn’t matter to us. A book from those times in Wantagh, NY:
It was a time for sacrifice for the war effort.
Families grew victory gardens.
Americans were glad to pitch in for our troops’ sake, for America’s sake. We sacrificed here, for our troops, over there.
The war was not only a country thing, it was a neighborhood thing, a family thing.
I remember Sonny, the son of our neighbors, the Benders. Sonny was in the Navy and died fighting a fire. His brother, Bob left his high school desk to climb into the seat of a B-24.
I remember the air raid sirens, and how we’d cover our windows with shades or blankets so that lights wouldn’t be seen from the skies. I remember Air Raid Wardens, in their pith helmets and arm bands. They’d bang on our door if they could see light in our window. There were no bombs, but the banging scared me. How many homes on this blue planet suffered not the bangs on the door—but the booms of the bombs?
I remember V-J Day.
It was the end of the war. My mom played our piano in the street; how incongruous—our piano—in the street! Right where that old car was, in the photo above. How could I ever forget such a strange happening? My sibs, neighbor kids, and I paraded down the street, banging kitchen pots with ladles and spoons. I remember the singing, the dancing near the piano. I guess there was a lot of drinking by the adults. I never saw such spontaneous happiness.
The thing I remember most about those days was the satisfaction, the pride of family and friends, long after the war. I grew up with that pride. I lived the war with family stories. I lived it again with John Wayne in Gung ho movies. I’m sure those films played a part of my joining the Marines.
America dealt with the war through a gritty, common will: The tightening of belts, the clenching of teeth, the fortitude to forge through to victory.
Today we are at war with Covid.
We have been invaded by a vicious disease, and we are fighting for our lives. We have already lost over 800,000 souls. The most America has lost in any war. We could have kicked the ass of these viruses early if we united against it. We could have saved tens of thousands of lives.
But we were divided, and we are still divided
We take political dumps of FUCK BIDEN flags on our American streets
A “Manhattan Project” produced a vaccine—in nine months.
But too many won’t take the miraculous vaccines, only 62% at this late date are fully vaccinated. And so many moms, dads, grandparents—needlessly die.
So many Americans can’t put up with Covid anymore. So many are fed up with masks, and mandates. Are these demands too tough for us, are we not up to that “daunting” challenge? So many want freedom from inconvenience, discomfort, annoyance, impositions—now. So many Americans need cruises—now.
So many Americans need to be together with large, extended families as if a crisis did not exist. As if thirteen hundred Americans were not dying—every day. We can’t, we won’t, tighten our belts, grit our teeth for the war effort—and victory.
Where is the grit that supported our troops at Normandy and Iwo Jima? Seven thousand Marines died at Iwo Jima. More than that toll died this week from Covid. More than twice the toll of 9/11 died this week.
Where is the fortitude we once had, America? Where is the grit that let us give up so much for our Brothers and Sisters?
Imagine Americans, giving up burgers and that iconic, American joy—a cuppa Joe. Just imagine.
America, where is your grit?