SEPTEMBER 15, 1945
HYDE PARK, Friday—I spent nearly two hours, the other morning, at our local radio station listening to a transcription of a program given on V-J Day over the local Syracuse, N. Y. radio station, WSYR. It was entitled "Half a War," and was really a review of all that had happened, with excerpts of speeches by various public men as they had given them over the radio at different times during the war period.
It made one re-live those years and brought back so vividly sensations which one had experienced that one could not help but be deeply moved at times.
I think that Mr. E. R. Vadeboncoeur in writing this script made a real contribution to the history of this period and I wish it might be used in many school courses, so that children might feel the march of history as they never would if they merely read the facts in text books.
* * *
I wonder how many of my readers know that on September 24, at the Du Sable high school auditorium in Chicago, a tribute is going to be paid to the Rev. Amos Ligon, pastor of the Lily of the Valley Baptist church. He served as chaplain with the rank of captain in the 369th Infantry in World War I, so it was not surprising that all five of his sons enlisted in World War II.
Four of them were lieutenants and chaplains. Two of them were killed in action in Italy, two went down with their ship while en route to serve in the islands of the Pacific, and the last one was killed by enemy bombs in England.
In spite of this accumulation of sorrow, such as few people have had to suffer, the father continued with his war work at home. The five gold stars hung in his window. Whatever tributes are paid him, they cannot really lighten his sorrow. But we can show by our sympathy and recognition of what he has done for his country that we realize there is a quality of citizenship which rises above race or creed or color.
The Rev. Amos Ligon is a Negro citizen of the United States. His sons will be honored by us all just because they were such good Americans and gave all they had to give to their country's cause.
* * *
Last night I attended the Dutchess County Social Planning Council meeting. As a result of having a community chest, I think we are beginning to be conscious of the fact that we need more knowledge about our local conditions in the social welfare field.
I was amused by one story of a community where annually the existing agencies reported on what they had done and everybody patted themselves on the back and thought how completely satisfactory everything was. Then a local newspaperman suggested it might be well to list what should be done, instead of what had been done. Instead of saying how many visits had been paid by the Visiting Nurses Association, it might be well to say how much service had been requested and not given because of the lack of funds and personnel to meet the needs, etc.
If this were done everywhere, it might be a shock to many of us.