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Friday, February 24, 2012

When 'All-out War' Meant ...

... all-out war.

September, 2001, George W. Bush, following the 9/11 attacks: "When [the terrorists] struck, they wanted to create an atmosphere of fear. And one of the great goals of this nation's war is to restore public confidence in the airline industry.

"It's to tell the traveling public: Get on board. Do your business around the country. Fly and enjoy America's great destination spots. Get down to Disney World in Florida. Take your families and enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed." [source]

December, 1941, Franklin Roosevelt, following the attack on Pearl Harbor: "No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people, in their righteous might, will win through to absolute victory.

"I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

"Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

"With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God."

Different enemy. Different era. Different resolve.

We know how the "home front" changed after 9/11. The airport baggage handlers and screeners were federalized. And ... that was about it.

But in 1941?

Look at how quickly things changed between Pearl Harbor and two years on*:

A transformation the likes of which the world has never seen.

Who, you might wonder, were all those 6,900,000 new workers - most of whom went into "war industries"?


A circumstance that would forever change America.

An era when total war meant total war.

* Source: Time magazine, July 20, 1942, pg. 68.

** Estimated future changes as predicted by the government.