Winner of the Patriotic Essay Contest: The War and How It Changed America | New

Editor’s Note: As part of this year’s Memorial Day celebration at Teague Park, “A Day of Thanks and Remembrance,” event organizers, in conjunction with the Gregg County Historical Museum, received submissions from students across the county for a patriotic essay contest. . The winner was Caroline Morgan from Trinity School in Texas. His submission follows:

“The war in Europe began in 1939 when Germany attacked Poland, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Great Britain. Italy, an ally of Germany, further extended the war by invading Greece and North Africa. Later in 1941, Germany began an invasion of the Soviet Union, which would ultimately lead to Germany’s downfall. In 1943, after the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk, Germany was forced into a full-scale retreat. In June 1944, British and American forces launched the D-Day invasion on the French coast of Normandy. By early 1945, Allied forces were closing in on East and West Germany. Germany surrendered in May 1945, shortly after Adolf Hitler’s suicide.

These words are written on a memorial in Teague Park, where there is a large memorial plaza dedicated to World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War, as well as Scout Troop Cabin 201. Although these words provide an honest and succinct account of the events of World War II, so much happened behind the scenes and after the war that has affected America and its people to this day.

One thing that happened because of World War II was that the GI Bill was created and signed into law by President Roosevelt on June 22, 1944. The GI Bill provides veterans benefits such as coverage tuition fees and unemployment compensation. This bill has been very helpful to Caucasian male veterans, but not so much to minority veterans, such as African Americans and women. It was much harder for them to get loans or get a college education, unlike white men who were applying for loans or trying to get into college. Along with this, many banks, especially in the South, would not lend to African Americans. Banks and insurance companies used a tactic called “redlining,” where they drew red lines on maps around certain neighborhoods — which were predominantly inhabited by people of color — as a sign of where to turn down mortgages. And some landlords would put a clause in the abstract of their home’s deed that prevented people of color from owning or occupying the restricted property. These and other events launched the civil rights movement. Although the GI Bill began as a problematic act of government, it has now evolved into something that is helping veterans across the country immensely.

Along with the GI Bill, the establishment of Japanese internment camps was both part of the effects of World War II and helped the civil rights movement gain traction. These camps were established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942. The purpose of these burial camps was to contain anyone who was at least 1/16th Japanese after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. The conditions in these camps were absolutely horrible. Many people had to stay in barns and stables because there were no better options. And two of the prison camps in Arizona were on Native American land, despite protests from the tribes. There was a lot of suspicion and racism towards Japanese-American citizens from other American citizens, which became a big problem during the civil rights movement.

The use of atomic bombs, nuclear weapons and nuclear energy was also a huge side effect of World War II. The nuclear bomb was first successfully tested on July 16, 1945 in New Mexico. This success paved the way for the evolution of modern warfare, and once that evolution began, nothing could stop it. The atomic bomb was first used in war on August 6, 1945, when the United States dropped a uranium-based bomb, affectionately known as “the little boy”, on the city of Hiroshima, Japan . Three days later, a plutonium-based bomb called “the fat man” was dropped on the city of Nagasaki, Japan. The total number of casualties from the two bombings was approximately 214,000 people. Japanese Emperor Hirohito announced his country’s surrender six days after the second bombardment, on August 15, 1945, that ended World War II.

The invention of the atomic bomb and these bombardments eventually led to the Cold War and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). The NPT was a treaty created in 1968 between nuclear-weapon states and non-nuclear-weapon states. It was an agreement between the countries of the world and stipulated that nuclear-weapon states would not use nuclear weapons or assist non-nuclear-weapon states to obtain nuclear weapons. Although the initial uses of nuclear technology were devastating to our world, the invention of nuclear energy has significantly advanced our world by providing a new and arguably better source of energy.

Another effect of World War II was the formation of the United Nations (UN) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The United Nations is an international organization dedicated to maintaining peace and stability among nations. It was created after World War II when international leaders realized they needed an organization to help establish peacekeeping and prevent the events of World War II from happening again. They were mostly successful in this effort, although there were a few times when they failed to do their job. This organization has been instrumental in helping nations that otherwise would have fallen victim to dictators and their evils.

These effects and countless others have propelled the United States and other nations toward decades of economic, political, and social growth and interdependence. To say that this war had a profound effect would be to underestimate the efforts of Allied forces to improve the lives of people around the world, and those commemorated in places around the world, such as Teague Park, can rest easy knowing that their sacrifices will not be easily forgotten.

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