Homefront Efforts During WWIIMarch 17, 2020
The gravity of World War II not only impacted those who were drafted to fight, but also on those who were left behind at home.
As President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in October of 1944 during his Navy Day speech, “I need not repeat the figures. The facts speak for themselves…. These men could not have been armed and equipped as they are had it not been for the miracle of production here at home. The production which has flowed from the country to all the battlefronts of the world has been due to the efforts of American business, American labor, and American farmers, working together as a patriotic team.”
“Patriotic team” – beautifully spoken. Americans during that time converted this country into a national war effort, with efforts to supply troops with the uniforms, guns, tanks, ships, warplanes, and other weapons and equipment needed to fight.
This was Danny’s experience as he and his friends and family navigated this time of war.
Here is an excerpt from Virtue in War:
“The days were dominated by news of war in Europe and the Pacific, even though the reality of war was ‘over there,’ not here. However, mobilization was everywhere. Air raid wardens were organized. High school students started manning stations to spot aircraft. Scrap metal became a hot commodity with drives to retrieve aluminum pots and pans leading the way. The propaganda films showed the pots going through one door and leaving as airplanes. Iron and steel were also needed. Decorative iron fences around small-town city halls were salvaged and supposedly made into tanks, ships, cannons, and other war material. A report documented that the fences frequently were collected from remote areas. Rationed items included car tires, gasoline, meat, and sugar.”
Danny did his share of work during WWII, making knives for troops while juggling the responsibilities of high school. He was surrounded by a Do With Less, So They’ll Have More mentality. America’s “homefront” was booming with support, and Danny played a role and he did his share.
This powerful line from my book speaks volumes: “Danny knew he had played an unsung and secret part of the war effort when he made knives for Captain Jacobs and his men.”
There were probably a lot of “unsung” or “secret” efforts going on that others knew nothing about or said nothing about, but they were all important, and they all contributed to the powerful homefront efforts that showed the bravery and unitedness of this country.
In Roosevelt’s words, it really was a “miracle of production.”