Hear ye, hear ye, my friends around the table listening to or watching the news.
As an eight-year-old in second grade I began to develop a keen interest in our government, politics, war, and how to value and appreciate our relationship with other countries in far-off places because of the only President I had ever known. My education was thrust upon me because of so many circumstances only he and God had the power to decide that would determine how the lives of my family and neighborhood would be shaped. That is as far as my understanding allowed me to travel since my birth in 1933.
In December 1941, I learned in a blink of the eye how to locate Pearl Harbor on the map hanging on the wall in the classroom at John A. Patten School and began to develop what every American called patriotism as we rallied around the flagpole each morning before classes to pledge our allegiance to our country. I have never lost those lessons.
I would not wish the experience of war upon anyone today. But by the grace of God and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and our friends across the Pond and beyond, I lived to recall the greatest President of my lifetime and still today have enough tears bundled up inside of me to shed as I did as his body traveled back to Washington for burial during the War. No President since that time, together with Mrs. Roosevelt (Eleanor), put himself on the same plain as the people and led us with the kind of strength, courage, and determination to lift our heads high by beating down a philosophy of humanity and government that only leads to destruction, hate, and death. We never want that ugly philosophy to rise in our blessed America, but instead devote our time, actions, strength, and political energy and contributions toward wiping it out on our planet wherever it tries to exist.
I picked up the mantle of the Republican Party when Mr. Romney ran against President Obama not because of so-called republicanism but because that party had become more like what I learned from FDR and had lived with all my life. That philosophy was that if we work hard, earn our pay, and pay our dues, there will always be a room for us in that shining castle on the hill. Even though times have changed, that ironclad contract with our country, framed by our Founding Fathers, has never failed us.
We owe our allegiance to this United States of America and our heritage of what we know it to be...not what the pundits dream up and report as facts in today's world of excess, first with the latest, and what difference does it make. Be proud of being an informed American.
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I enjoyed Charlotte Parton's trip back in time to the WW ll years. I was born approximately two years after FDR passed away and even though I am a Republican I consider him the greatest wartime President ever. I have read that on Dec. 7, 1941, we had the 19th largest army in the world. In only 42 months FDR led the country to victory over Japan and Germany and we became the most powerful country in the world. In my opinion he was the second most important figure of the 20th century ranking only behind Winston Churchill.
I wonder how FDR would fit in with today's Democrats. He sat down with his advisers on the night of the Pearl Harbor attack and said, "we are going to win this war and do whatever it takes to do so." He placed 125,000 Japanese, many U.S. citizens, in Internment camps. He formed an alliance with Stalin, who killed more of his own countrymen than Hitler ever thought of. He tried the German saboteurs who came ashore from a sub as war criminals despite the fact some were American citizens. He shut off all immigration during the War to prevent spies. He approved the fire bombings of Dresden and other German population centers and he approved development of the atomic bomb. There is no doubt in my mind he would have dropped it like Truman did if he had lived long enough. And since my father was getting ready to ship out from Germany to the Pacific I am glad he did.
I would give FDR a "D" on domestic affairs but that is irrelevant because I would give him an, "A++" on winning WW ll and that was the only thing that mattered in the 40s.