As we placed our flowers and reminisced among ourselves, I thought of the America I knew as a child in the World War Two era. I was very young, but understood that everything my family did was to help the war effort and soldiers any way they could.
- we saved our pennies and bought war bonds
- we raised Victory gardens
- we pooled our ration tickets with family and friends
- we ate that awful early version of margarine -- the gloppy white stuff with an orange color bead in it that we had to mix into the white glop -- so our soldiers overseas could have the butter.
- we hung flags on our porches and put stars in our windows.
I'm sure there were many more ways Americans sacrificed back then, but those are the efforts I remember. Grandpa spent a lot of time explaining to me why we had to economize:
- our boys overseas needed nourishing food and special vehicles and equipment to survive;
- Planes, tanks, weapons, warships cost a lot of money to make and that money had to come from citizens like us;
- buying war bonds helped keep the country strong during war time;
- what few little sacrifices we made were nothing compared to what our soldiers had to face in battle far away from home.
Today I'm thinking about how awful it must be to be a military person in a strange country. I'm thinking I don't mind if tax money is spent on protective equipment, whatever that might cost, to keep them as safe as possible.
The men and women in harm's way around the world deserve at least as much support as our country has given failed banks. That's what I'm thinking this Memorial Day 2009.