News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida on March 14, 1999 · Page 9
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News-Press from Fort Myers, Florida · Page 9

Fort Myers, Florida
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 14, 1999
Page 9
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NEWS-PRESS. SUNDAY, MARCH 14, 1999 9 A World War II CKIircn of ixr vzns roKiII Its ir3 FLORENCE ANDERSON, 73, Cape Coral, lived in Marengo, DL "I vividly remember Pearl Harbor, and I remember the rationing, the books we had to have. We would listen to the radio to get the news, and I remember the day the war ended. It was such wonderful, wonderful news. "My family was not affected that much by the war, though I lost a really dear friend, and we lost boys in my class in high school. We didn't find out right away. The news didn't travel like it does now. v "After the war, we started hearing about how some boys got killed and some got crippled. Then the boys came home and told about what they went through. They were still in their early 20s, but they'd been through hell. That was more of a shock than when the war was going on." WAR STATISTICS America's wars from the Civil War to the Gulf War Civil War i' Union ; :;. Battle deaths: 140,415 ;; Wounded: 281,881 ; Confederate i Battle deaths: 74,524 i Last Confederate veteran died J in 1958, age 112 ; Spanish American War I BaUie deaths: 385 . , Wounded: 1 ,CG2 I Last Spanish-American veteran ; died Sept. 10, 1992, age 106 ; World War I 1 Battle deaths: 53,513 ' Wounded: 204,002 ; Living veterans: 4,800 s . -. , ... - . World War II ! Battle deaths: 292,131 ' Wounded: 671 ,846 , I ' Living veterans: 6,319,000 Korean War Battle deaths: 33,667 i ; Wounded: 103,284 . Living veterans: 4,179,000 Vietnam War .! Battle deaths: 47,393 Wounded: 153,363 Gulf War i Battle deaths: 148 . I l: Wounded: 567 J SOURCE; The 1 999 World Almanac ! i SHELDON L. SNEEDNews-Press . , ., i - . ROBERT VAHRENHORST, 68, Cape Coral, lived in St Louis "I looked upon the war as the bulk of the nations being together to stand up to a tyrant lnere was rationing. A lot of people were working a lot of hours in defense-related industries. A lot of people had husbands, fathers, sons and daughters in the service. . Everyone was pulling together during that period. Everyone saw the reason and rationale for the effort I'm sure there were some who thought we erred when we entered the war, but I feel they were in the minority." DOMENIC CTVTTELLA, 70, North Fort Myers, lived in BromalL Pa. ."We knew just what we read in the paper and heard from friends. We had gas rationing and food rationing early in the war. "Everybody was behind it. They made all these factories and plants tor the military to produce arms and weapons. People donated. People bought bonds everybody was buying bonds. "Sometimes you'd see in the paper about someone you knew who was wounded in action or killed in action. . "After the war, I had a couple of friends who talked about being at D-Day, and I had a cousin on Iwo Jima, and he said it was terrible. He couldn't take a step without stepping on a body. I don't think we realized. We thought it was terrible, but we didn't realize how bad it really was." iw? ; --ri t WILLIAM HAGEN, 34, Alva Middle School teacher "We look back on World War II as one of the major wars of all time because it N J oa uui mg a nine - when Adolf Hitler was coming to power, seizing countries upon countries. It was a time of grave threat to Americans even though it was not fought on American soil. "When you look at all wars, if you use sports terms: During the years of World War II, we were at our best, and we had our run at greatness. If you pick our all-time greatest performance, that was it." ' RANDY WAYNE WHITE, 49, Pine Island, novelist "World War II illustrated the best I .... 'i of the American spirit It was a bril liant generation, defined by its unity, courage and big-band style. "Representative are Clark Gable and Ted Williams. They abandoned hugely successful careers to fight, as did tens of thousands of others. Compare their conduct with the sniveling, adolescent behavior of a Dennis Rodman or a Bill Clinton, and it's no wonder that we admire the World War II generation." LOUISE TAYLOR, 40, Fort Myers, teacher "My father was in the Navy in World War II, on a destroyer, the mighty Mustin. He was the ship's doctor. My parents met during " War left lasting mark on U.S By KEVIN L0LLAR News-Press staff writer As World War II came to an end, 20-year-old Sgt. Gateley Daniel was at the Elbe River, America's deepest advance into Germany. Daniel, now a retired lieutenant colonel living in Fort Myers, had fought across Europe with the 82nd Airborne Division and says the war changed the United States forever. "Those of us who survived came back and led this country to the greatest boom in history," he said. "And we did it through such things as the G.I. Bill." World War II was a struggle against tyranny, but the effects of the war are still being felt throughout American society. One of the most important factors contributing to the change was the G.I. Bill of Rights, which offered veterans a package of benefits, including free college education. "The war pulled the United States out of the Great Depression," said Michael Gannon, University of Florida emeritus professor in history. "But if any one factor placed the United States on a trajectory of economic expansion, it was the G.I. Bill, which enabled so many to attend college and enter the job market with skills not seen before." Post-war America also experienced a great movement from cities to the suburbs. America had become more urban during the Depression, when many Americans who couldn't make a living in rural areas moved to the cities. "Suburbia developed because so 'rJ IM- r V . Y I: - Special to the News-Press CIVIL RIGHTS SPARK: World War II raised the ire of minorities about how they were treated in society. Rosa Parks (right) was one black woman who decided in the 1950s she wouldn't be shunted to the back of the bus. World War II, and I remember my mother telling stories about how it was to see father on leave because he brought things they couldn't get like sugar and bacon. She talks about the music of that era, the style of entertainment and clothing. "So it has an air of romance to me. Although I know it was a time when millions of people were being killed, a time of the Holocaust my memories have a more romantic bent. "I have in my possession V-mails from my dad, written when he was deployed in the South Seas, and I get a tear in my eye when I read those. Those notes were sweet and loving. There was no mention of death and destruction, just working together toward the common good and coming home as soon as possible." many people with Veterans Administration home loans were able to buy houses," Gannon said. "After World War II, people moved from the city to the suburbs. Suburbia became a way of life. Maybe something good can be said for the suburban movement, but it's sad, too, because it led to the death of inner cities across the country." Also sparking the move to the sub urbs was the interstate highway system, started in the Eisenhower administration in 1956 as a way to shuttle American troops across the country efficiently. Eisenhower modeled the interstate system after the German autobahn, which was constructed under Hitler as a military highway system. As the country rushed to the suburbs, the idea of the nuclear 66 American family developed: Father worked out of the home, mother kept house and had a hot meal ready at the end of the day, while two or three children participated in a wholesome home life. For two decades after the war, perfect families cavorted across America's television screens, beginning with "Mama," which appeared in 1949, and continuing through such programs as "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet," "Father Knows Best," "The Danny Thomas Show" and "Leave it to Beaver." The ideal family grew in part from another repercussion of the war: The Communist scare and McCarthy era, said Valerie Smith, a sociology professor at Florida Gulf Coast University. "The country was trying to look for those things that were good, to set ideals, to counter what was really happening," Smith said. "Unfortunately, the ideal was not the reality: 2.5 children and that kind of foolishness. "It was important for the media to promote those ideals, so we had things like "The Donna Reed Show,' and people said, 'This is the perfect family. Look, they live in the suburbs.' Everybody wanted to live in the suburbs and have 2.5 children. If you didn't, something was wrong with you." World War II also created a rising discontent among minorities and a greater desire for racial equality, Smith said. "It was a situation where people went overseas and fought for the rights and freedoms of other people, Those of us who survived came back and led this country to the greatest boom in history. Gateley Daniel, retired lieutenant colonel 95 and when they got home, they said, 'Wait a minute. We can go die for . freedom, but we can't get it here,'" Smith said. "They thought things would be different when they got home, but they weren't." . America went to war to fight tyranny, and, through incredible courage and sacrifice, the country's armed forces crushed the greatest threat the free world has ever known. When the job was done, veterans returned to the United States to find the nation beginning a new age of development, of which they were both the parents and the children, a "The Second World War placed us at the head of any nations that aspired to world leadership," Gannon said. "We were an industrial power before the war, but at the conclusion, we were in a position of industrial and economical leadership unparalleled in the history of humankind." T Groundbreaking Retirement News From Construction llaS Berlin Construction of Oakmont at The Woodlands is now underway and our new championship golf course will be ready to play when Oakmont is completed. Very, soon The Woodlands at Shell Point will The Woodlands become die most desirable retirement address in Soudiwest Florida. A v - w V Shell poi NT The Woodlands Highlights Colt Nature and Personal Growth For more than 30 years, Shell Point has led the way in gracious retirement living and continuing lifecarc, yet rarely in those 30 years have we introduced residences that have been received with as much enthusiasm as those at The Woodlands. The Woodlands provides a wide choice of luxurious independent-living residences with dramatic views of the Barrier Islands, nature recreational facilities as well as the Village Church. Secure and private, The Woodlands also features nature preserves, grcenways and lakes and is ideal for those who enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle that includes boating, fishing, sailing, golf, tennis, a complete health club, heated swimming px)ls and miles of walking trails. Ill preserves, the Caloosa-hatchee River and the golf course and nearby will be new state-of-the-art health care and We Guarantee You'll Love The Woodlands We're so sure you're going to love living at The Woodlands we'll guarantee it. Just select your residence and get guaranteed access to care now, plus our 100 money back guarantee. Skilled nursing care is immediately available SHELLPOINT 1 .':rv.lT-v 'ft - 1 even before moving in and we guarantee a 100 refund of the entrance fee for one full year of residency. A Few Premium Residences Remain Several of our most attractive residences are still available but in the next few weeks these remaining residences will be sold. So, if you would like " to live the uncqualcd Shell Point lifestyle, you must act quickly, ricase call soon to arrange to be our guest at a complimentary continental breakfast and tour of Shell Point. Welcome Center hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. r a 4 FOtIM MOilKINH OPPOfll UNIFY Secure Tour Tomorrows Today A Continuing Care Community 15000 Shell Point Boulevard, Fort Myers, Florida 33908 941-466-1131 or 1-800-780-1131 SIxtlPointisaMnprofitminimyofWjeGmstian&Missiomry

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