Books As A Life Saver

Written by Ellen M. DuBois

I cannot take credit for writing this, for I am only sharing with you something I found today. It is a very old page, worn and yellowed, from "The New Republic" dated December 8, 1917. What struck me about this article are two things: 1. The letter fromrepparttar gentleman, and 2. The extreme importance of books to soldiers overseas. The article states thatrepparttar 126329 two most important things soldiers desired were "tobacco and BOOKS". It seems that then, just as now, reading helped folks get throughrepparttar 126330 most adverse, frightening and challenging situations by givingrepparttar 126331 mind something other than their fear or pain to focus on. I cannot even imaginerepparttar 126332 terror experienced in battle and how these soldiers kept their sanity about them. I do know that reading played a significant role inrepparttar 126333 matter.

I will now share with you this newspaper story. It is a chunk of history; a piece of time captured on brittle paper that I was fortunate enough to find withinrepparttar 126334 pages of, yes, you guessed it, a very old book.

December 8, 1917 THE NEW REPUBLIC V

"Who Thought of It- a Soldier?"


"...I should like to meet some ofrepparttar 126335 gentlemen in our company, to thank them personally for what they have done for my grandson who is in France. I cannot help thinking that it must have been a soldier, a man who has been throughrepparttar 126336 fighting mill as I have, who initiatedrepparttar 126337 idea of providing such good books, in so convenient a Veteran. I fought from '62 to '65. I remember wellrepparttar 126338 craving I used to have for something good to read, something to offsetrepparttar 126339 loneliness and homesickness which was harder to bear than all our physical hardships. It was so keen that we used to pounce on scraps of newspaper we found. I tell you there is nothing that will so well keep uprepparttar 126340 morale of fighting men as good reading matter. They need it to keep their minds off themselves. I know what our boys will go through;repparttar 126341 mental agonies are worse than anything else. Yet when my grandson atrepparttar 126342 opening ofrepparttar 126343 war enlisted inrepparttar 126344 Canadian Army, I was glorified- that isrepparttar 126345 word!- to have him go. I sent with himrepparttar 126346 blessing of God. I knew it was not love of adventure that urged him on, but something ofrepparttar 126347 same spirit with which we boys were filled long ago. It is a spirit as old as Christianity,repparttar 126348 spirit ofrepparttar 126349 Crusades. He longed to add his boy's strength torepparttar 126350 might ofrepparttar 126351 world to teach an everlasting lesson to those damned Potsdam animals, who were willing to drenchrepparttar 126352 world in blood without mercy, to further such a thing as sordid commercial ambitions. He has fought at Ypres and Vimy. He has been wounded twice. I have seen him again, and he is notrepparttar 126353 same boy. He has seen, this child, more than I ever saw. War is hell to him, as it was to us; he hates it with all his soul, as I do. But he hatesrepparttar 126354 Kaiser and his crew more, and he will be there torepparttar 126355 end. This, gentlemen, is not what I wished to write to you. As you may appreciate, I feel this business keenly, and my feelings carries me away oftentimes. When I saw my grandson he asked me to write to you. Some time after he went away I sent him as many of your little books as I could buy. Before he received them, he andrepparttar 126356 men with him many a time crouched for hours under heavy shelling- sometimes for days and nights, without relief- waiting, waiting for attacks. They had nothing to think of except what was going to happen to them. I believe only a soldier can appreciaterepparttar 126357 mental condition of men under such circumstances! The books I sent were a godsend to him and his comrades. They constituted a sort of company library, each man carrying several ofrepparttar 126358 volumes in his pockets, and he told me there was hardly a man inrepparttar 126359 company who had not read every one ofrepparttar 126360 books....I think it will be interesting, and heartening, for you to know how greatly you are helping to keep uprepparttar 126361 morale ofrepparttar 126362 men who are enduring atrepparttar 126363 front mental suffering that is beyond, truly beyond,repparttar 126364 imagination of us who stay at home."


Written by Dr. Dorree Lynn

One of my children is a daughter adopted 22 years ago from a little known orphanage in Pune, India. She joined our family at six weeks and became a US citizen before she could speak. Her pre-adoption history -- as are so many other adopted children's -- is a maze of facts and fabrications and we will never be able to weave togetherrepparttar complete truth about her origins. Her identity isrepparttar 126328 one formed as she grew up as part of our American family. She walks and talks with an all American athletic flair. In high school, one of her most memorable moments was to crew atrepparttar 126329 challenging Head ofrepparttar 126330 Charles -- a most all American event. Summers, she earned spending money working as a lifeguard, teacher's aide, an administrative assistant and a sales person at a local boutique. We taught herrepparttar 126331 American work ethic that with hard work and perseverance, she had a good chance of achieving her goals. Color was never to be used as an excuse to not do her best.

When I am with her, talking, cooking, arguing, I only see my daughter and I am colorblind. When I look at photographs ofrepparttar 126332 two of us, I am often stunned atrepparttar 126333 stark contrast in our looks. It is only then that I see whatrepparttar 126334 world sees. Her luminescent deep bronze skin, large dark eyes and exquisite long dark hair is sharply contrasted with my own green eyes, short blond hair, and pale white complexion. Sometimes it takes me a moment to recognizerepparttar 126335 two of us and to absorbrepparttar 126336 visual difference we present.

Helping her come to grips with her Indian looks in a Caucasian family has taken awareness on her and our family's part. When she was eight, I took her on a pilgrimage to India. I wanted her to know her heritage and to be proud of it. Young and still unsure of whom she was; she was concerned about how they would know she was American. Without thinking I answered, "Byrepparttar 126337 way you walk." Not totally trusting my response, (which turned out to be true) she insisted on wearing emblematic blue jeansrepparttar 126338 entire time we were there. I worried that those who saw her would think she was not well cared for. I was embarrassed and wanted her to wear a dress. She won, and made sure she flauntedrepparttar 126339 uniform of her adopted country for all to see.

Now in her third year of college, she recently transferred to a university that is far from home, located in a city that is less cosmopolitan and international than her hometown of Washington, DC. It has a smaller international student body than she is used to, and at least in her eyes, more blue eyed females with long straight blond hair than she is accustomed to going to classes with. She has always been aware of being a minority, but before September 11th, she had experienced few ugly incidents related to her country of origin. If anything, she was developing a comfort level as "an attractive rare bird" valued by those of all skin shades.

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