Linden Hill offers a chance to learn about ‘shared sacrifice’

We want to draw your attention to a new exhibit that is coming to Linden Hill. Thanks to the Minnesota Historical Society, the “Minnesota Homefront” exhibit will offer a glimpse of what American life was like during World War II.

Most Americans have never experienced the concept of shared sacrifice in wartime. The last time the nation had even a semblance of unity was during the Korean War.

The Vietnam War tore the nation apart, pitting anti-war protesters against soldiers. Since then, the nation has chosen to at least give lip service to the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, but it has yet to grasp the idea of putting up a united front so that our enemies can take no comfort in the belief that they can wait us out.

We have by far the most powerful, best trained military in the history of the world. Only the foolish engage American soldiers directly in combat. But for 10 years, Washington has made our latest war another political football, and the enemy still believes it can outlast us.

The concept of giving no “aid and comfort” to the enemy no longer occurs to most Americans. Yes, part of the problem is governmental leadership. Most Americans are no longer asked to sacrifice when our soldiers go off to war. The home front sacrifices fall only on the families of those patriotic volunteers who travel to far off battlefields to protect us. The rest of us can sit on the sofa watching “Desperate Housewives” and eating our nachos, and not think once about sharing their burden.

During World War II, the nation’s whole attitude was different. We sent our young people off to battle, and suffered losses a hundred times greater than today. And yet, on the home front, we bought war bonds, endured rationing, and knitted clothing for our soldiers. We were reminded constantly at the movies and in workplace posters that Uncle Sam needed our help and, to quote one poster, “Loose lips sink ships.”

The “Homefront” exhibit will take you back to that time and show you what people right here in Morrison County sacrificed without ever leaving home. The exhibit opens Saturday, Jan. 21, and runs for eight weeks. We strongly urge you to take in a history lesson that too many Americans have forgotten — that shared sacrifice at home helps the war effort on the battlefield, discourages our enemies and helps save American soldiers’ lives.