This morning I had a half hour radio interview with a station in Michigan and a shorter taped interview (for play on Monday) with a station in Ohio. I have another live show in about an hour, this station in New Mexico. The interviews are for my new novel, The Victory Club, and of course, the press releases are getting extra interest because the novel is set during WWII. This being Memorial Day weekend has made it seem even more relevant.
One question I was asked was, Do most Americans recognize what this holiday is about or is it just a fun three-day weekend? Sorry, but I fear it is the latter. Thanks to many reasons today, too few are thankful for the sacrifices of our military.
Another question was, Is the war in Iraq more divisive than WWII? In some ways, yes. In some, no. Prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, there was a large segment who had an isolationist attitude. They thought the war was a European problem and we should stay out of it. So there were definitely people who were divided about the war, some even after Pearl Harbor.
Americans on the home front who lived during WWII truly had to make lots of sacrifices. Food was rationed as was gas. There were scrap metal drives and rubber drives and just about every other kind of drive. The way people lived was controlled a great deal by the war. Today, those of us at home are unaffected, for the most part, unless we know someone serving overseas. We can, with little effort, remain totally separate and ignorant of what is happening half a world away.
Memorial Day was established in 1868 as a way of honoring the dead from the Civil War. But I think it is the Greatest Generation from WWII who seem to be the last to really recognize the need to thank those who gave all. Freedom isn’t free. It costs. It costs some everything.
It is estimated that the WWII military and civilian losses of the Allies were about 44 million. That number includes the close to 6 million Jews who were killed in the Holocaust. The Axis nations lost about 11 million.
This weekend, take a moment to say a prayer of thanks for those who have given so much so that we can live in a free nation. And may God continue to bless the USA.
In the grip of His grace,