Standing Together - Ala the Olympics

During any Olympic games everyone in the country it seems, pulls together as one to cheer the U.S. teams .Chants of "USA" echo throughout each stadium where our best competes against the best of other nations of the world. As patriotic as it is, I can’t help compare it to what it was like during World War ll. Was there ever a time before - or since - when an entire nation committed itself so passionately to the goals of peace and freedom for all? Our president called upon us to do our part. Buy war bonds, conserve energy, aid the war effort by doing things we had never before done and by doing without things we had taken for granted. It included accepting rationing of gas, meat and sugar and wearing "hurachies," (sandals of man-made material that smelled horrible when wet ) because leather was rationed. We were even encouraged to grow our own fruits and vegetables. (Our family’s "Victory Garden" was rather pathetic producing only a few tomatoes, lettuce for the rabbits, and some cucumbers.)

Our neighbors, many of whom hung stars in their windows to signify one of theirs was in the armed services, pulled together when asked to form a Civilian Defense corps. My father, a partime Air Raid Warden, was charged with enforcing unnecessay (thank goodness!) brownouts in which we covered all windows so that no light could get through should enemy planes fly over. And of course, who could forget the Jewish children brought over from Europe to stay with relatives they had never before met but who were welcomed wholeheartedly.

Certainly, I would never want to return to those days of worldwide destruction, yet I long for the feeling of oneness and singular purpose that pervaded our country then. How wonderful it would be if we could all come together to cheer and encourage our wonderful diversity in the same way we cheer and support our outstanding athletes during the Olympics.

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