War poster by Louis Hirshman and William Tasker, dated 1942 - 1943, maintained by the Library of Congress. Image online, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.
The degree of restriction
over an individual's freedom
seems incredible to us today...
If those who fought in World War II are "The Greatest Generation," then people who experienced the sufferings of World War I are surely "The Courageous Generation." Largely silent about what they endured - especially on the home front - their stories are forever lost since most folks alive then are dead now.
Although we have many accounts of men fighting on the Western Front, and we can read about the horrors of trench warfare and the pandemic of "Spanish Flu" (which killed untold millions), the truth of the sacrifices and misery of life on the home front in Britain has never really been told.
During the early years of the 21st century, however, some of the oldest men and women in the country spoke about experiences they had as children but kept buried for more than eight decades. With admiration for all they endured, we - at a distance - learn of rural famines, Zeppelin raids, school bombings, censorship and a mother who considered killing her family to prevent continued suffering.
While we cannot grasp the level of deprivation people experienced during both world wars, we can examine evidence from national archives. What we see paints a scene one hopes will never be experienced again.
Original Release Date: August, 2003
Updated Quarterly, or as Needed
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