The Empire State at War: World War II

The Empire State at War: World War II

The Empire State at War: World War II

The Empire State at War: World War II

Excerpt

The New York State War Council authorized the writing of this volume for a number of reasons quite apart from the recognized necessity for preserving a record of the New York home front in World War II. The most practical purpose that a volume of this kind can serve is to provide a blueprint for the organization of the State, should it ever be necessary at some future time to prepare it again for war. It is earnestly hoped that such a use of this volume will never be required. It would be foolhardy, however, to omit an analysis, as well as a description, of the State's collective war experience from 1940 to 1945. Individuals learn from experience; New York State can also. An effort has accordingly been made to point out how, and why, and in what sequence events took place on the home front, as well as their significance for the future welfare of the inhabitants of the State.

Another purpose of the War Council in authorizing this account has been to make it possible for those who played an active part at home to comprehend the exact point at which their efforts fitted into the over-all pattern of the State's war effort. Such an understanding, it is hoped, will contribute to their personal satisfaction with a job well done. The work of one individual, when compared with the total efforts of 13 million people, naturally appears insignificant. Nevertheless, the success of New York State as a whole depended fundamentally upon the willingness of each of its 13 million inhabitants to perform his personal duties to the limit of his ability. Especially in a time of crisis, individual faithfulness in small things becomes the basic social need.

It is also anticipated that this record of the home front will be read by those who were absent from the State while serving in the armed forces of their country. Many veterans while far away from home wondered whether their relatives and neighbors were actually backing them up; whether they really knew "there was a war going on." If read completely and thoughtfully, this book should set at rest all doubts on that score. The vast majority of New Yorkers eagerly and anxiously did what they could to help win the war. When it came to the test, this democratic microcosm proved sound.

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