They are called the Greatest Generation for a reason. Imagine a time when millions of people were out of jobs…your parents paychecks didn’t stretch the week…storms raged across the midwest, destroying crops and ruining lives. In the midst of this, a war is waged that staggers the mind; fought on a scale never seen before or since. An unprecedented attack throws our country onto the front lines. While the world is crashing into chaos, every citizen in the United States, with what little they have, throw everything behind the war effort. The men volunteer to become soldiers. Many that were denied were so distraught and humiliated, to not be able to fight for their country and their families, that they committed suicide. With the men away, the women were left on the homefront to pick up the slack and work in the factories. They took dangerous jobs building bombs, planes, ammunition, and so much more. Many others took up jobs on the farms and generally kept the economy rolling during the war. Even the children helped with the war effort. They were called “nine to five orphans,” because their father was at war and their mother was in the factory. They had to get up, make breakfast and lunch for their siblings, get to school on time, start their homework, and help their mother make dinner. In between all that, they found time to collect tins and rubbish to be recycled and used in war manufacturing. Neighborhoods held competitions to see which teams could get the most usable material. Women were giving away silk stockings to be turned into parachutes and melting down jewelry to become bullets. Everyone was behind the war effort for nearly five years in America and longer in other countries. We saw the merest hint of this kind of camaraderie after the September 11 attacks. Imagine the selflessness of this WWII generation to pour everything into the hopes of making the world a better place. To fight and endure unimaginable horror…No wonder they are called the Greatest Generation.
Published by thinkbigstartsmallactnow
Join the educators from the National Museum of WWII Aviation to learn about the courage, heroism, and innovation that changed the course of world history. Students are exposed to science and engineering behind flight and aerospace, and historical profiles of WWII heroes. Activities range from identifying a plane by simple shapes for our youngest future pilots, all the way to advanced aircraft design and a simulated flight operation for older students. View all posts by thinkbigstartsmallactnow