Americans During War
When the United States is struck by war, all Americans are affected.
The strength and bravery of the armed forces inspire civilian “home front” efforts to be successful. In times of crisis, Americans mobilize around a common purpose, doing what needs to be done to bring the war to a successful conclusion. Often, during war time, the United States government makes changes that can titleer the lives of civilians, even after the war has ended. Sometimes, it can even result in the creation of new towns, such as Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Prior to World War II, Oak Ridge did not officially exist. It was first secretly created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1942 as a major research site for the Manhattan Project, a wartime effort that resulted in the creation of the first atomic weapons.
Everyone has a role during war. While many go off to fight in the military, those left behind take on new roles. Before they began entering military service in larger numbers, women kept communities running by managing family farms and businesses and working on heavy machinery in the factories. Their efforts during World War I and II became symbolized by “Rosie the Riveter.” Children collected money, rubber and scrap metals to support the war effort. A strong and supportive home front eased the return home for soldiers.
Has your family been divided by war? In the United States, war has divided families, communities, and the country. Many Americans were divided idealistically by the Vietnam War as thousands of people protested American involvement. The division may also take on a literal form, such as during the Civil War. Families were often split on different sides of the newly separated United States. Brothers were forced to fight against brothers as some sided with the Union and others with the Confederacy. These moments of division have been some of the darkest in our history, and many parts of the country do not always recover. War is terrible in any form, but the division it can create is one of its most daunting and far-reaching effects.