Story brings back memories

To the editor:

The story written by Cheryl Dinderman ("Four generations honor ‘the greatest generation’") on May 23 brought back memories for this 70 year old. I was six years old when our country declared war on Japan. Shortly after, things started to change for all of us. For example, at night we had black out times, where we had to have all lights out and the shades drawn when the whistle in town blew. This precaution was meant for all, city people and farmers alike. As farmers we could hear the whistle four miles away!

Then rationing started. Each family member was issued a ration book. When we bought products such as some imports like sugar, rubber products, or leather goods, we had to present a stamp. For other foods such as meats and dairy products, we had to have a red token, or we couldn’t buy.

As farmers we didn’t feel the food shortage as much as city folks. We had our own meat and dairy products, but had to improvise with artificial sweeteners, when our sugar stamps were gone.

My father didn’t get drafted, as he was the only male left in the family to run the farm. One uncle and many of my cousins served. One ended up spending time in a prisoner of war camp, while another was one of the first nurses to land on Ansio beach head. And yet another was in the second wave on Normandy. Thankfully all came home alive, but forever changed.

If I remember right, people who had a son or daughter serving, posted a silk cloth in their front door window. If the loved one was still alive, the cloth was blue with a silver star, if it was red with a gold star, the loved one had been killed in action. These mothers were called gold star mothers.

This fall, if all goes well, my husband and I are going to Washington, D.C., to visit the memorial along with all the rest of the things to see. I can hardly wait!

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