Growing up as a baby boomer, I heard about life during WWII from my parents. My mother won an award in high school for an essay called “What War Means to Me.” His mother organized Sabbath dinners at their homes for servicemen stationed at an air base outside of their city. One of the men from overseas who came to dinner was my father.
My father had been away for almost four years, stationed in North Africa and Italy. Later in his life, he still donated money to disabled American veterans. Even when he lived in a retirement home and had little to lose, he gave something. He said the injured should not be forgotten.
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Communication was not as sophisticated in my parents’ day. They had the essentials: newspapers, radio and telephone. But somehow a message of national unity got through. People grew fruits and vegetables in the Victory Gardens to alleviate wartime shortages. They were thinking of something bigger than them.
Freedom for them did not mean that a person could do whatever he wanted, regardless of the consequences for himself and for others. It is no surprise to me that the young president who said these famous words in his inaugural speech in 1960 was a veteran of World War II: for your country.
We are now in a situation analogous to a war. The numbers are hard to believe – nearly 200,000 people have died from COVID-19. And medical experts tell us thousands of lives could be saved if US mask compliance reaches 95%. As stated in a City of Chicago Public Service Announcement, wearing a mask is no different than wearing a seat belt, life jacket, or bicycle helmet – the goal is security.
It was not difficult for me to follow the advice of the experts on wearing a mask, respecting social distancing, and washing my hands frequently.
Because I know that’s what my parents would do.
David Caplan, West Rogers Park
When a president cheated on us before
Rather than follow the examples of openness given by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in times of crisis, President Donald Trump – when it comes to COVID-19 – followed President Lyndon’s model of deception Johnson.
In 1964, Johnson telephoned National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and Senator Richard B. Russell about the conflict in Vietnam. Johnson confided in his pessimism. He said, “I don’t think it’s worth fighting for” and “I don’t think we can get out. “
But four years later, there were more than half a million U.S. military personnel in South Vietnam, a country many Americans couldn’t even locate on a map.
Larry Vigon, Jefferson Park
This morning I asked my mirror, “Am I still in Chicago?
The White Sox are in first place and are playing brilliantly. The Cubs are in first place and threw a hit on Sunday. The Bears came back from behind to beat Detroit.
But wait. Fifty-three people were shot dead, 11 of them fatally, over the weekend.
Yeah, I’m still in Chicago.
Kathleen Melia, Niles