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Wed Jul 1, 2020, 05:28 PM

Where is the sacrifice?

In 1941, the Japanese empire attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States quickly declared war, entering World War II. President Roosevelt asked all Americans for sacrifice to the war effort, and thus, the Greatest Generation was born. Sacrifice, something most Americans knew all too well during the Great Depression, became a unifying cause. Men and women joined the armed forces in droves, and those that didn’t, peopled the assembly lines at home. We were no longer making Fords, Chevys and Chryslers, we were making tanks, airplanes and guns. We saw things we had begun to take for granted such as coffee, sugar, shortening, meat and dairy, all rationed. We donated metal, old tires, fuel, coal, shoes, anything that would support the war effort. We endured blackouts and huddled around the radio as a family, desperate for any news. We leaned on our president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and knew that during his “fireside chats” we were sharing an experience with most of America. And most of all, we dreaded the sight of a military vehicle at our door with an officer and a priest or rabbi, bearing tragic news and trying to offer us some measure of consolation amidst unbearable grief. And in the end, thanks to the shared sacrifice of all Americans, regardless of whether it was charging an enemy line or inspecting the guns, ammo and boots with which that charge was made, we prevailed. To quote from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ “on V-E day we wept and prayed; on V-J day, we wept and prayed.”

But then something happened. Korea was almost an afterthought. Vietnam was such a bitterly divisive conflict that Americans simply didn’t have a shared interest, and its failure haunts us to this day. On 9-11 we were briefly united again - we were all Americans, all New Yorkers, but where was the sacrifice then? George W. Bush didn’t ask us to sacrifice, he asked us to keep shopping. And now, here we are, with another global conflict. Many of us have been sacrificing, but again, the country is divided. There is no shared American effort, though there has been in much of the rest of the world. We’re not rationing food, we’re having it delivered to our doorsteps. We’re not having blackouts, we’re going out to bars and beaches. We can’t even unite around wearing masks - what must the Greatest Generation, those who are still with us, think? The idea of going to a city council meeting and shouting “you can’t ration my food - you’re taking away my freedom!” would never even have occurred to them amidst the carnage of the global conflagration enveloping the world.

In the meantime, we’re not treating all Americans with the respect and dignity they deserve. We’re killing African-Americans and challenging their right to live in a world we all need to share. I’m saying ‘we’ not because it’s all of us, but because it’s everywhere, and that impugns us all. “Black Lives Matter” should be a rallying cry for all Americans, but we have a president who calls it racist and retweets videos of idiots shouting “white power.” We all know the president saw it. We all know it reflects how he truly feels, as does every other racist, misogynistic, mendacious and hateful thing he says and does. The United States of America was born of a revolution, and strengthened by shared sacrifice, and our president is willing to look the other way when the lives of our soldiers are taken by bounty hunters funded by an enemy of freedom and Democracy. Have we really fallen so far?

Yes, we have. The question becomes ‘what are we going to do about it?’

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softydog88 Jul 1 OP
Midnightwalk Jul 1 #1
crickets Jul 1 #2

Response to softydog88 (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2020, 05:45 PM

1. Good theme

I’d add in the rage and being asked or even seeing others wear masks. “It’s my constitutional right to wear a mask. How dare you make me look bad by wearing one.”

Such a small sacrifice that too many are unwilling to make. Let alone what nonsense about a constitutional right.

I’ve been thinking about that cartoon with a kid with a bullet proof backpack going to school next to a frame of a mask rager.

The first take I had was that we’re asking that kid to make that sacrifice to wear armor but not willing to wear a mask.

Yesterday I realized it’s deeper. Of course we can’t expect Americans to sacrifice with tighter licensing, training and technical gun restrictions. As a country we can’t even sacrifice enough to wear masks.

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Response to softydog88 (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2020, 06:42 PM

2. Thoughtful and thought provoking.

These are ideas we should be talking about more as a country, and questions we should be asking ourselves as a nation. With better leadership, perhaps we will.

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