Letter: Alfred P. Van Huyck, Round Hill

Editor: The COVID-19 virus continues to spread throughout our country bringing death, sickness, and economic destruction. Yet, a large number of Americans will not make the slightest sacrifice to thwart this nationwide attack. What has happened to American Patriotism?

For us Old Timers who remember well the effects of World War II on our domestic life, it is beyond belief to see the few simple public health requirements ignored by so many. Wear a mask, keep your distance, avoid crowds and wash your hands is all that is required. Yet many will not do it.

World War II was raging not on our streets in Leesburg as is the virus, but thousands of miles away in Europe, Africa, and the Far East. Yet the entire nation mobilized and sacrificed to win the war.

I was 8 years old in 1941 and 13 when it ended. My dad was too old to join the fight, but was an air raid warden going out during drills to see that no light could be seen by enemy planes, and would report to higher ups that no lights were observed. In school, we memorized pictures of the enemy war planes so we could report them if seen. 

There was food and gas rationing and we had our ration books and carefully selected what we could buy or where we could drive. All the neighborhood families had “victory gardens” to grow our own food so food would be available for the troops and refugees. We collected scrap metal to donate to the war effort and we took our small allowances to buy 10-cent War Bond Stamps which we put in a booklet until we had enough to buy a War Bond. Everyone participated and those who violated the rules were publicly shunned or even arrested if they were “black market” operators.

I remember the deaths. I was at my friend Don Smith’s house, when the Western Union man arrived with the telegram announcing the death of his older brother and how we all cried together. But most of all I remember when Ed Brooks, a nearby neighbor who joined the Army, came to our property where a bunch of us little boys were playing. He was our hero as he sat with us telling us stories of the Army and how he was on leave prior to shipping to Europe to fight. He was drinking beer and smoking a cigarette and my mother came out and asked him to leave the property as his drinking and smoking was a bad influence on us children.  He left and two months later was reported dead on the battlefields of Europe.  My mother was crying and upset for a long time after knowing her last contact with this neighbor was to banish him from our property just weeks before he died serving to protect our freedom and way of life.

Today, a war equal in its potential death and destruction is being fought, not thousands of miles away, but here in the cities, towns, and villages of the United States of America. Why can’t we mobilize with the same commitment of sharing and love of country that was the response during World War II?  What has happened to American Patriotism?

Alfred P. Van Huyck, Round Hill

6 thoughts on “Letter: Alfred P. Van Huyck, Round Hill

  • 2020-12-04 at 4:42 pm

    Alfred, you are part of the greediest, most selfish generation that has NEVER SACRIFICED anything in your life!!!

    You demand more and more “entitlements” (aka handouts) paid for by … NOT FROM YOU but by your kids, grandkids and great-grandkids who you now try to persecute with draconian and irrational lockdowns. You tell the kids not to worry that they are getting an inferior education, a few of the greediest generation can slightly lower their risk of COVID. You tell kids don’t worry if a few more of them (who have yet to live their glory days) die of suicide, some old geasers who are simply sucking gruel in a nursing home can live a few more months. You couldn’t care less about “sacrifice” or our youngsters.

    Your generation is despicable. It is bleeding us into bankruptcy. If only we could strip you of your right to vote so would stop being the albatross around society’s neck.

  • 2020-12-04 at 9:48 pm

    This is very dramatic. Comparing WWII to a virus with a 99.8% survival rate is seriously hyperbolic. Please stop watching CNN all day and actually read some statistics. Yes, this virus is bad and we must protect ourselves (should have closed that China border much sooner), but isn’t funny how nobody seems to be dying from the flu or cancer anymore? Maybe this magic virus, that won’t get us if we’re sitting and eating in a restaurant, but will get us if we stand up and walk through the restaurant without a mask, has knocked out the flu, cancer, strokes, car accidents, etc.? Older people who die in nursing homes are being written off as COVID deaths even though they didn’t have it. What about the report that came out last week, from doctors who have been treating the virus from the beginning, that says the virus has changed and is much more treatable now? The facts are if you have an underlying condition that makes you vulnerable, then your odds of dying from COVID (or the flu, just like every other year in our history), are much higher. The media never seems to report that 94% of the COVID deaths have had conditions such as cancer, heart disease, etc. that caused their deaths as much as the virus did. I have been out and about town and I have not seen anyone not wearing their mask inside a public establishment- not one.

  • 2020-12-06 at 9:44 am

    Al, I remember the stories of sacrifice as well. My mother reminded me that women would get out of their seats on a bus if a soldier was there so he could rest. Respect was prevalent and authority figures would NEVER violate that trust. Just compare Eisenhower to Nixon, compare WW2 to Vietnam or WPA during the depression to welfare today. Do you really think kindergartners would be expected to sit home (with no science justifying it) expected to learn by looking at a screen with no parental support in the 1950’s? When JFK was assassinated did anyone expect Jack Ruby to be able to kill Oswald so easily or that the evidence would be locked up in the archives for 50 years? Did anyone really expect building 7 to completely collapse after NOT being hit by a plane and NOT on fire beyond its design criteria? Would
    anyone from the 1950’s expect Portland Oregon and Milwaukee, Wisconsin to hold back police from arresting looters and arsonists or any mayor allowing for a sanctuary city where known criminals were protected? How is that patriotic or even reasonable? Some parts of Government have failed to keep the TRUST BARGAIN. We, the people, need to ONLY elect candidates who can convince us (without pandering for votes) they are willing and able to meet the threshold of fairness and honesty to justify the title of representative regardless of what party they are in. The hate speech from both sides (and the press) has to stop so one side (Americanism) can recover from this absurd period of political unpatriotic unfairness and unaccountability. 🙂

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