Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

A story by Pat Broman



I was in college when the war ended. Gradually, the men came back to resume their education, some as soon as the war was over and some much later. One man’s schooling was so interrupted he was in his thirties when he appeared in our university. I was married in 1948. My husband had been in the Army, had graduated from college and was getting his master’s degree at another university. The GI Bill helped enormously and gave us a good start. Many of today’s young people, having grown up in affluent times, are used to having what it took us many years to acquire: a home and all the luxuries, both small and large. We started from the ground up in a career and in our living arrangements. When living in Newark, N.J. awaiting the birth of our daughter, my husband was getting started in his job with a big corporation which was to transfer us many times. In Newark at that time in the 1950s, we were temporarily living in one room, cooking on a hot plate, and washing dishes in the bathroom sink. I remember really enjoying that time in my life. Later we would have small apartments with one bedroom used by our little daughter while we slept on a pull-out couch in the living room. War historically often brings about a spurt in scientific and medical discoveries and this was true of the years following World War II. War is a terrible thing and the lives lost and men injured brought tragedy to many homes, but returning soldiers married, started families and life in America resumed. If only we could have learned the lessons of that war, how to treat each other on this small planet earth so that we could live in peace and avoid a third world war which would encompass the whole world. We can’t afford to lose precious lives by senseless killings either on the streets or by war. We are now in a very grave and serious election process. We could face possible race war and war with a twisted ideology which is not localized but has seeds everywhere. And what do our would be leaders talk about? Words against others that we would be shocked to hear in our own children. The rhetoric does not touch on the issues we face and the best for our country but is completely self-centered and fired with hatred. We seem to be in a war between ourselves. My own ancestors were patriots and worked to form our free country. It is a wonderful country and I hate to see it criticized and run down. We have flaws which can be corrected if, as our President [Obama] says, we all pull together and care about each other.

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 acrimony,affluence,co-existence,college,GI Bill,hatred,ideology,World War II
  Southbury, CT
Jul 25 2024


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