Archived Story

COLUMN: Living on the edge

Published 10:54am Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Living in the face of danger is not a modern day phenomenon despite the senseless shootings, bombings and miscarriages of justice that we hear and read about on a daily basis.

A look back at the World War II era is all it takes to make today’s struggles seem small in comparison.

For example, a vast majority of this nation’s physically able men either volunteered or were drafted to fight in World War II—the war of all wars. It was a war that was instigated by Hitler’s takeover of North America’s allies in Europe and furthered by the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor.

While Americans were fighting in battlefields halfway around the world, the folks back home were unified like never before in the nation’s history. Wives, sisters and mothers worked in factories replenishing munitions, building military equipment and sewing uniforms. School children purchased U.S. War Stamps and Savings Bonds with their spare nickels, dimes and quarters and collected scrap metal in support of the war effort.

“Sacrifice,” “win,” and “freedom,” were operative words throughout the long and costly war.

America’s military forces faced imminent danger no matter if they were fighting the enemy on land, in the air or at sea. Many died and were buried on foreign soil, others were taken prisoners of war and still others returned home wounded and crippled for life.

Nevertheless, these American heroes and those they left behind knew deep in their hearts and souls that personal sacrifice was the key to sustaining a winning effort and ensuring freedom for the nation’s future.

Thus, the stage was set for the rebuilding of a great nation. Never before had a generation of Americans faced and endured more hardships, picked themselves up by the boot straps and achieved greater success in all walks of life.

While the Boston Marathon bombing was a senseless act of terror against innocent civilians, it should be viewed from a historical perspective. It’s certainly questionable whether or not it was a news event that merited a week of constant coverage on national TV.

Clif Knight is a staff writer for the Hartselle Enquirer.

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