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“Which is more toxic”? ..Mr. Hanson??
Is poison all that you see available?
For a broader suggestion of options, let’s look back a few more years, before 1968:
‘Ernie Pyle in England’
Re: The wartime bombing of London.
“London is no more knocked out than the man who smashes a finger is dead. Daytime life in London today, comes very close to being normal.
“You can hardly conceive of the determination of the people of England to win this war. They are ready for anything.
They are ready to take further rationing cuts. They are ready to eat in groups at communal kitchens.
Even the rich would quit their swanky dining rooms without much grumbling.
“If England loses this war it won’t be because people aren’t willing — and even ahead of the government in their eagerness — to assume a life of all-out sacrifice.
” ..and Big Ben? Well, he’s still striking the hours. He hasn’t been touched, despite half a dozen German claims that he has been knocked down.
“Bombs have fallen around Trafalgar Square, yet Nelson still stands atop his great monument, and the immortal British lions, all four of them, still crouch at the base of the statue, untouched.
“..And don’t tell me the British don’t have a sense of humor!
“I never get tired of walking around reading the signs put up by stores that have had their windows blown out.
My favorite one is at a bookstore, the front of which has been blasted clear out.
The store is still doing business, and its sign says, ‘More Open than Usual’.”
Yes, the British were strong:
“Pearl Hyde is head of the Coventry branch of the Women’s Voluntary Services. It was Pearl Hyde who fed and clothed and cheered and really saved the people of Coventry after the blitz. For more than a week she plowed around in the ashes of Coventry, wearing policeman’s pants. She never took off her clothes. She was so black they could hardly tell her from a Negro. Her Women’s Voluntary Services headquarters was bombed out, so she and her women moved across the street. Her own home was blown up, and even today she still sleeps in the police station.
“Pearl Hyde is a huge woman, tall and massive. Her black hair is cut in a boyish bob. And she has personality that sparkles with power and good nature. She is much better looking than in the film, and she is laughing all the time. She was just ready to dash off somewhere when I went in to see her, but she tarried a few minutes to tell me how good the Americans had been with donations.”
“It was amazing and touching the way the Christmas spirit was kept up during the holidays. People banded together and got up Christmas trees, and chipped in to buy gifts all around. I visited more than thirty shelters during the holidays, and there was not a one that was not elaborately decorated.”
And then, Mr. Pyle dreams:
“Some day when peace has returned to this odd world I want to come to London again, and stand on a certain balcony on a moonlit night and look down upon the peaceful silver curve of the Thames with its dark bridges.
“And standing there, I want to tell somebody who has never seen it how London looked on a certain night in the holiday season of the year 1940. For on that night this old, old city was — even though I must bite my tongue in shame for saying it — the most beautiful sight I have ever seen.
“It was a night when London was ringed and stabbed with fire. The German bombers came just after dark, and somehow you could sense from the quick, bitter firing of the guns that there was to be no monkey business this night.”
And did the British have antagonists within their midst?
Consider this part of Mr. Pyle’s report:
“It is against the law to leave a car that could be driven away by the Germans.
“You have to immobilize your car when you leave it, even though you might be walking only fifty feet away to ask a policeman for directions.
“In the daytime, just locking the doors and taking the key counts as immobilization, but at night you have to take out some vital part, such as the distributor.”
We Americans need to remember!
“If you are going through hell, keep going.”
Content thanks to “Becky”:
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