Sunday, February 26, 2012

Buffalo, 1939

My great-great aunt passed away this past year at 92. My grandma found her brother's English notebook among her belongings, which we all enjoyed reading immensely. She typed up this particular essay to send to the leaders of a regional peace activism group she and my grandpa belong to. I thought you guys might enjoy it.


By My Great-Great Uncle Joe, 1939
The dictators in Europe have created quite a stir of excitement by their dramatic foreign aggression.  A world war once again seems imminent.  The question, "Can the United States stay out of war? " is being asked by everyone.

     President Roosevelt's dramatic appeal for a ten year period of peace has undoubtedly drawn America closer to the conflict which is brewing in Europe.  The President thinks that continued aggression and victory for the fascist powers, if unchecked, would eventually endanger the United States.  The recent Gallup Poll shows that the sentiment of the majority of Americans do not want war.  They will defend their country but will not fight to protect the so-called democracies such as Great Britain and France.

     So long as there is a chance to prevent war the endeavor is worth while.  It is hard to conceive the calamitous effects of a world war, whatever its outcome.  It might easily lead to a worldwide revolution.  It would almost certainly bring on depression far blacker and deeper than the one through which we have been passing.  It would result in human suffering and sorrow almost beyond imagination.  Statesmen, then, should leave no stone unturned in the effort to avoid or even postpone it, for until war actually breaks out there is always hope that something may happen to prevent it.  It is the duty of every person in America; father and mother, business man and farmer, tax-payer and politician to denounce the sins of war.  To refuse to take partake in war unless to defend our country.  I, a student, with millions of other students do not want to sacrifice my life just to satisfy those who want the United States to stand with other nations which oppose further wars of conquest.
He wrote this while he was in high school, and was later drafted and served as a mechanic and bomber when war did eventually break out.

I leave you with these words from my grandma in her letter to the peace council:

Uncle Joe described himself as "a person of average intelligence" in another essay. He never was the same after he was honorably discharged. 
Can we follow this voice from the past and resist the drum roll to Iran?  Will we ever learn?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk to me.