Tag Archives: wwii

Care Connects WWII Survivors and Syrian Refugees to Bring Happiness

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As of almost 1 year ago, there were more than 4 million Syrian refugees, a number that increases daily as conflict grows across Europe. Babies are being born in refugee camps. Children are experiencing years meant for exploration, imagination and fun in a landscape that is scary, violent and often times changing moment to moment. They’ve experienced loss at far too young an age but they are not alone in this.

Care is an organization responsible for sending care packages to children affected by WWII. If anyone understands even a margin of what modern children in war-torn nations are experiencing, it is the survivors of WWII who are now being recruited by Care to write letters to children receiving packages today. Care was created in 1945

Does he go to school? Does he have a father? Does he have something to play with? I never played as a kid.
-WWII Survivor And Letter Writer

The first 20,000 Care packages reached the shores of France in 1946 and 70 years later, Care packages are still arriving on far off shores. Today those Care packages include letters from alumni who seek to help children feel known, heard and understood in this time of crisis. Watch their story: Continue reading

A Lifetime Searching for Lost Beauty

auschwitz It’s  been almost 70 years since the end of World War II, yet in the time since it ended, we’ve still felt the reverberations of the damage done in the six years of war.

A new example? In the past year, German officials have discovered a trove of approximately 1,400 works by artists like Matisse, Renoir and Picasso just waiting to be found in a Munich apartment.

Beside the feeling of elation over the recovery of works long thought lost is the heartbreaking reminder that there are still families seeking the restoration of pieces looted or sold by their family at rock bottom prices in an attempt to escape Nazi persecution. Reading the article ourselves, we were amazed by the number of grandchildren and great grandchildren who have spent a lifetime committed to bringing a part of their lost family home. Uncovering the works were a victory for honoring the artists but also for the men and women who originally owned them.

Read the story and then see a sample of the recovered pieces here.

What do you think of this amazing find? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 

The 83-Year-Old Nun on Trial for Sabotaging a US Nuclear Facility

Screen Shot 2013-04-30 at 12.31.12 PMSister Megan Rice is no stranger to activism. She’s been arrested 40-50 times in her life for civil disobedience, including once kneeling down to block a truck driving through a Nevada nuclear test site. Most recently, Rice is facing grave criminal charges for breaking into the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee in July 2012, along with two fellow activists. The trio reportedly got through four security fences before detection, and face trial on May 7 for multiple charges.

This is not a simple story of risk-taking, peace-proclaiming activists getting their hands dirty for a cause. Rice was 82-years-old at the time of the incident, and a nun, at that. Her accomplices were the 64-year-old Michael Robin Walli, a self-proclaimed drifter; and 57-year-old Gregory Irwin Boertje-Obed, a house painter. Not your average criminal outfit.

To understand their motives for taking such momentous action, it is first crucial to understand the United States’ long nuclear history. Since 1940 and the thick of WWII, the U.S. has spent at least $9.8 trillion (in 2013 dollars) and in 2011, alone, spent close to $711 billion. Rice lived through WWII, the Vietnam and Cold Wars, and now contemporary controversy over global possession of nuclear weapons. Walli, too, lived through much of this troubled past. He served two tours with the Army, fighting in Vietnam and earning a Bronze Star (though he considers himself a war criminal for participating.) All three of the activists feel they had a moral responsibility to protest such weaponry, and they selected a new, half-billion-dollar plant as the site of reckoning.

1400_nuclearnun641362351319Inside the facility, they cut through chain link fences, spray painted and splashed real blood (from the late activist Tom Lewis) on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility building, and hung banners all around. Once detected, they gave themselves up peacefully, trusting in the higher power and moral authority that had guided their entire mission. Now, with the trial one week away, the three face penalties of up to 16 years in prison and $600,000 in fines, though all plead not guilty.

The incident raised many questions and red flags in the minds of government authorities, activists, and others alike, including:

– The alarming lack of security for such a dangerous and important facility

– The ongoing violence and hostility perpetuated by these facilities, and by the overall attachment to nuclear armament

– The legacy of war our elders carry with them, the burden and pain of which should never cease to inspire activism and political engagement – as Rice, Walli, and Boertje-Obed so bravely demonstrated.

Watch Sister Megan discuss the Y-12 break in with the Washington Post:

What do you think of this incident? Should the activists receive full penalties, or are they morally in the right? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Photo credit: Unknown

Photo credit: US Government

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