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  • Valarie Jean Anderson


Hording? Shelter-at-home? Government restrictions? Food shortages?

Fact vs fake news? “You have a most grave responsibility to the nation now ...the whole future of this nation depends upon the manner in with each and every one of us fulfills his obligation to our country.”[1] Sound familiar? This was part of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s admonition to reporters three days after the Pearl Harbor attack when rumors ran wild fueled by unsubstantiated reports. People died because of them.

Roosevelt was an unpopular president, often at odds with Congress. His sweeping orders after the Pearl Harbor attack stripped away American liberties the likes of which were not seen since the Civil War. American citizens were thrown into concentrations camps because of their ethnicity. Manufacturing companies were directed to convert to war production. Farmers were told what to grow. School children were issued gas-masks. Newspapers and radio stations were controlled. Censors read letters, listened to phone calls, and limited news. Hospitals were overwhelmed. Construction materials for the private sector dried up. Housing shortages pressed family’s together. America’s foundation—the freedom of choice—crumbled.

But, the sun still shined. Chickens laid eggs, vegetables grew, neighbors shared, and recycling became a necessity. “Use it up, or wear it out,” became a civilian battle cry. Men were drafted, women went to work, grandparents watched infants, and children scavenged metal, rubber and wood.

In World War II, bullets and bombs stopped the enemy. Today, our enemy is invisible and so is our battlefront. Only microbes can kill this enemy. Our war response is just as vital as it was in the 1940s if we want to rebuild America’s foundation. Like our Forefathers and the Greatest Generation we can win this battle, but we need to hunker-down, work together, listen to the experts, and lend a helping hand—from a distance. Thanks to my brother, Jim Olsen, I am well supplied with the weapons I need for this new battle. Remember what is important—life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Most importantly, “Keep Calm, and Carry-On.”

[1] San Bernardino Daily Sun, 10 December 1941,15.

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