State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Letter from the Publisher: A Special Veterans Day

by on November 02, 2020 11:27 AM

This year marked the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The generation of men who fought this war are now all over 90 years old. Their contribution to our freedom cannot be forgotten. Often, when we see the Second World War depicted on television or in the movies, it is an assumed conclusion that America and her allies were going to win. This was not the case. The outcome of the war was still in doubt as late as December 1944. The forces of both Germany and Japan were formidable.

An unprepared America entered the war in December 1941, just after the attack on Pearl Harbor. From the very beginning, there existed a real concern of German domination of the Atlantic Ocean. German U-boats operated at will just miles off our East Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico. The destruction of shipping along our shores was so bad that the government restricted media information in order to not alarm the public. 

There was also concern of a Japanese invasion of Hawaii or even the West Coast until the summer of 1942. During the first half of 1942, American and allied forces were routed in the South Pacific. Undermanned and ill-equipped, American forces held out for as long as they could, waiting for reinforcements that never arrived. It was not until late 1942 that successful counterattacks were launched.

The men who fought the battles in 1942-45 were not professional soldiers; many were volunteers, but most were draftees. These men were shipped overseas to fight in the jungles of the South Pacific and on the beaches and in the forests of Europe. Men who couldn’t yet drive a car were trained to fly fighters and bombers, drive tanks, and steer ships. The entire nation mobilized to support their efforts.

The bravery and sacrifice of these men to stop the enemy advances and then win final victory did not come easily. Had the allied landings on D-Day failed in June 1944, or had the Germans been able to break through during the Battle of the Bulge later that December, the outcome of the war may have been different. The same could be said about the many island campaigns in the Pacific. Victory always rested solely with the American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman.

Take time to thank these veterans for what they did all those years ago. Let them know that you have not forgotten.



Bernard A. Oravec


[email protected]



Disclaimer: Copyright © 2020 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.