world war II

The Greatest Generation

The World War II era is often called 'the greatest generation.' It is a big tip of the hat to those vets, but it is also a tip of the hat to those who worked in the factories, farms, transport and recycling centers that made what happened on the front lines possible.


Listening to an interview on the radio of an author who has just published a book on the topic, the writer interviewed a number of those WWII vets and their families. Among his observations, was that here was a generation that wasn't asking for special recognition or accolades for what they did. They simply did what they had to do. Once the job was done, those who lived and could, went back to their every day lives.



Minutes after listening to the interview of the author, we pulled up to a shopping center and as we walked by a store, we saw this World War II vet in the framed photo below. He drove the modest car seen below the framed image we created of his photo.



greatest-generations-vet-car-posted-manufactured-housing-pro-news-mhpronews- (1)

Note the 'God bless America' flag on the side of the
WWII vet's (shown in the framed photo above) car.

Just as the author on the radio said, this vet spoke not a word when I asked him for his photo. He simply turned and gently, unassumingly smiled. He posed for the photo as requested. I thanked him, and he went on into the store.

In saying they were the greatest generation (the author said, 'they literally saved the world' from what would have happened if the Nazi's and Japanese had won the war) this should inspire our generation and all others! Their praise is not to take away from what the vets or citizens who followed did.

Like a record in sports, business or any other field, their record should inspire others to follow their example.

When I think about hardship today, vs what hardship looked like during the great depression, there is no doubt that most are far better off in material terms today than then. What we ought to ask ourselves is, are we better off in terms of the spirit and motivation that drives people to do and give their best daily?

Let the heroes of the past and present inspire you and yours to be and give your best! ##

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Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't, you're right. – Henry Ford

‘Patriotism done right’ – Kate Smith sings God Bless America for the first time

Irving Berlin wrote this song in 1917 for use during WWI.  Does anyone know why he did not release it then? No? Well, I will tell you. He thought it “too saccharine,” (sentimental) even for the horrific inferno that was WWI.

You will enjoy this and you younger folks will learn some history…

The link below will take you to a video showing the very first public singing of GOD BLESS AMERICA.

But, before you watch, you should also know the story of the song. The time was 1940. America was still in a terrible economic depression. Hitler was taking over Europe and Americans were afraid we’d have to go to war. It was a time of hardship and worry for most Americans.

This was the era just before TV, when radio shows were HUGE, and American families sat around their radios in the evenings, listening to their favorite entertainers, and no entertainer of that era was bigger than Kate Smith. Kate was also large in size, and the popular phrase still used today is in deference to her, “It Ain’t over till the fat lady sings.”

Kate Smith might not have made it big in the age of TV, but with her voice coming over the radio, she was the biggest star of her time. Kate was also very patriotic. It hurt her to see Americans so depressed and afraid of what the next day would bring. She had hope for America, and faith in her fellow Americans.

She wanted to do something to cheer them up, so she went to the famous American song- writer, Irving Berlin (also wrote “White Christmas”) and asked him to write a song that would make Americans feel good again about their country. When she described what she was looking for, he said he had just the song for her. He went to his files and found a song that he had written, but never published, 22 years before – way back in 1917. He gave it to Kate Smith and she worked on it with her studio orchestra. She and Irving Berlin were not sure how the song would be received by the public, but both agreed they would not take any profits from “God Bless America”… any profits would go to the Boy Scouts of America. Over the years, the Boy Scouts have received millions of dollars in royalties from this song. This video starts out with Kate Smith coming into the radio studio with the orchestra and an audience. She introduces the new song for the very first time, and starts singing. After the first couple verses, with her voice in the background still singing, scenes are shown from the 1940 movie, “You’re In The Army Now.”  At the 4:20 mark of the video you see a young actor in the movie, sitting in an office, reading a paper,  it’s Ronald Reagan. Frank Sinatra considered Kate Smith the best singer of her time, and said when he and a million other guys first heard her sing “God Bless America” on the radio, they all pretended to have dust in their eyes, as they wiped away a tear or two!

To this day, “God Bless America” stirs our patriotic feelings and pride in our country. Back in1940, When Kate Smith went looking for a song to raise the spirits of her fellow Americans, I doubt she realized just how successful the results would be for her fellow Americans during those years of hardship and worry, and for many generations of Americans to follow. Now that you know the story of the song, I hope you will enjoy it and treasure it even more.


(Editor’s noteThis blog post was submitted by a manufactured home community
operator who wishes to remain anonymous.)

The Butch O’Hare Story

A Successful Mission

During the course of World War II, many people gained fame in one way or another. One man was Butch O’Hare. He was a fighter pilot assigned to an aircraft carrier in the Pacific.

One time, his entire squadron was assigned to fly a particular mission. After he was airborne, he looked at his fuel gauge and realized that someone had forgotten to top off his fuel tank. Because of this, he would not have enough fuel to complete his flight and get back to his ship. So, his leader told him to leave formation and return.

As he was returning to the mother ship, he could see a squadron of Japanese Zeroes heading toward the fleet to attack. With all the fighter planes gone, the fleet was almost defenseless.

His was the only opportunity to distract and divert them. Single handedly he dove into the Japanese planes and attacked them.

The American fighter planes were rigged with cameras, so that as they flew and fought, pictures were taken so they were able to learn more about the terrain, enemy planes, etc.

Butch dove at them and shot until all his ammunition was gone; then, he would dive and try to clip off a wing or tail or anything that would make them unfit to fly. He did anything he could to keep them from reaching the American ships.

Finally, the Japanese Squadron took off in another direction. Butch O’Hare and his fighter, both badly shot-up, limped back to the carrier.

He told his story, but not until the film from the camera on his plane was developed, did they realize the extent he really went to, to protect his fleet.

He was recognized as a hero and given one of the highest honors. And as you know, the O’Hare Airport was also named after him.

Easy Eddie

Prior to this time in Chicago, there was a man named Easy Eddie. He was working for a man you’ve all heard about – Al Capone. Al Capone wasn’t famous for anything heroic, but he was notorious for the murders he’d committed and the illegal things he’d done.

Easy Eddie was Al Capone’s lawyer and he was very good. In fact, because of his skill, he was able to keep Al Capone out of jail.

To show his appreciation, Al Capone paid him very well. He not only earned big money, but he also would get extra things like a residence that filled an entire Chicago city block. The house was fenced, and he had live-in help and all of the conveniences of the day.

Easy Eddie had a son. He loved his son and gave him all the best things while he was growing up; clothes, cars and a good education. Because he loved his son, he tried to teach him right; but, one thing he couldn’t give his son was a good name, and a good example.

Easy Eddie decided this was much more important than all the riches he had given his son. So, he went to the authorities to rectify the wrong. To tell the truth, it meant he must testify against Al Capone, and he knew that Al Capone would do his best to have him killed.

Easy Eddie wanted most of all to try to be an example and to do the best he could to give a good name back to his son: so, he testified. Within the year, he was shot down on a street in Chicago.

These may sound like two unrelated stories; but Butch O’Hare was Easy Eddie’s son.

Unknown Author

Sometimes, making the right decision is not easy; in fact, we reach one of the defining levels of maturity when we realize how our decisions affect those around us. That knowledge usually causes us to choose carefully and sometimes differently. Remember, your future and success depend upon your decisions.

Submitted by Tim Connor

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