Danny’s Top Secret War EffortDecember 21, 2019
The shift in lifestyle at the beginning of World War II was abundant. People were growing Victory Gardens to survive. Japanese-Americans were being sent away. Rations left people hungry and desperate. Men went off to war. Women did the work of men. And children, specifically teenagers, stepped up. To help build the armaments necessary to win the war, they did what they could, even if that meant doing it in secret.
As I wrote about in a recent post, Danny learned to build DISKnives as a hobby, which later became a business, and in my next book, The Blade, The Blood, The Bigotry, it became essential to the efforts of war.
This passage reveals the weight of the war situation that Danny felt as he confides in Gran – someone very important and special to him.
“‘So, what troubles you?’”
“‘I don’t know where to begin to tell you,’” Danny said.
Gran had returned from her typical day of helping out local seniors with cooking and cleaning, even though she herself was now one of them, and beginning to feel the weight of the war and the years upon shoulders always willing to carry someone else’s burden. He followed her into the kitchen and lit the stove, sloshing the kettle to gauge if there was water enough for a pot of tea. Lately, he’d taken over with the greatest subtlety tasks that had always been within Gran’s domain.
The conversation continued with Danny’s worries about finishing the task of making 10,000 throwing knives that soldiers would use in battle. He was just 15 years old at the time.
“Danny and Gran shared eyewinks as an affirmative part of their special and comfortable communication. Danny left the house and, before sliding open the heavy door to the workshop and forge, glanced at his surroundings, suddenly aware that what he was doing was top secret.”
What a heavy weight for a teenager to carry.
According to an article at www.history.com, “From the outset of the war, it was clear that enormous quantities of airplanes, tanks, warships, rifles and other armaments would be essential to beating America’s aggressors. U.S. workers played a vital role in the production of such war-related materials. Many of these workers were women. Indeed, with tens of thousands of American men joining the armed forces and heading into training and into battle, women began securing jobs as welders, electricians and riveters in defense plants. Until that time, such positions had been strictly for men only.
As many Americans did in those days, Danny did what he had to do. He did it in top secret. And he did it without complaint. He sacrificed the way so many men, women, and children were forced to do.