Submitted by: James e. Saffel sr.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor we realized we could be reached and declared war. More than 11 million men would serve and return home as the factories begin to shut down. There wouldn't be enough jobs for our returning men. The unions wanted president Truman to release the moratorium and when he did under pressure, the inflation rate rose 25 percent. The government realized there wouldn't be enough jobs and decided education was the problem. This led to the great education explosion. We lost three generations of our children to LSD and the Hippies movement. Today we have only two large employers, the prevailing wage workers and the educated, all dependent on your taxes, both with union ties while the gap-workers lay dormant. Today we still think education is the way to create jobs while our infrastructure is crumbling along with creating more people living in poverty and on welfare as a way of life. When WWII ended, more than 11 million GIs came home over the next few years. Some had been gone four years. My brother would be one of them. My neighbor, Tommy next door, didn't make it, nor did Tony up the street and George, he made it but Normandy made him a cripple for life. It wasn't easy for those who made it home. They didn't want to be called heroes with parades of flags. They wanted to kiss the ground that they left for peace and the hope of finding good employment and security. Starting over was not easy for most of them. Thousands of workers were laid off, many factories were no longer needed. It had been barely five years and once again, we were drafting our young boys. I became one of them. Again there will be a large number of GIs returning home but it wont be the same. A friend of mine, when he landed in California, called home only to find that the factories had moved out and there were no jobs. Some factories moved to China. From the wars to end all wars, WWI, WWII, from the sands of North Africa to D-Day on to the beaches of Normandy, from Pearl harbor to Kwajalein, Wake Island to the death march in Manila to the flags raising on the hill on Guam Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the Atomic age begins. Yet it goes on: Korea the 38 parallel, to the fields of Vietnam, then to Bosnia, Iraq, Kuwait to Afghanistan, again it goes on and on. At the end of each of these, there are fewer jobs for our GIs. Wall Street invests in Europe and Asia but not at home.
About the author:
Born in Akron, Ohio, August 4, 1931 in a little one bed room cottage, I was the fourth member of the Saffel clan during the great depression of the thirties. Our mother was a house setter so we moved a lot from 1926 to 1931. We then stopped moving and lived with our grandfather, our Aunt Mertle and Uncle John and their kids. At times during the thirties there would be 14 children in the home. This was the way of life till 1939 when Roosevelt put an end to the labor issues and we changed from domestic production to massive war machines. And for the first time we had enough money to go to the store and come home with groceries and a little change for another week. I am 87 years young, while some of my friends imply I should be sitting in my rocker on the front porch and stop wasting my life on the issues of wages and pensions gap. But I choose to continue to do what I can to reach as many people as I can because our leaders won`t touch the wage and pension gap. They would rather sit in their rocker and hope that it will all go away. That's fear. I do this for our children and for our GIs who have been coming home to no jobs.