Having been born in 1935, I spent my early years following the events of World War II. My father was a bit too old to serve in the armed forces, but four of his and three of my mother’s brothers served in the Army or Navy.
As a cowboys and Indians movie buff, it was an easy transition to become fiercely patriotic and a compulsive pursuer of war news. Along with film accounts at the movie house, newspaper and magazine articles, and radio reports, I was bombarded with propaganda from those and other sources. I was informed I was supposed to hate Germans, Italians and Japanese, but I also learned that propaganda wasn’t always true.
Germany had its Goebbels. I am not sure to this day who was in charge of American and Allied propaganda. Lies, half-truths and exaggeration were and are integral parts of propaganda. After all, when the world as I knew it was being threatened with annihilation, truth was sometimes inconvenient and superfluous. As it turned out, some of the propaganda was not only true, but in some cases, understated.
At 80 years old, I am again faced with enormous quantities of propaganda and it truly annoys me that people who invade my email and other conversations are buying into fear and politics to justify sending out lies and partial truths. I do not wish to see a return to the horrors of those times.
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I fear for my grandchildren’s and our country’s future.
Lewis Rodrick, Centre Hall