A while ago, I bought an old end table at a thrift store. The first thing I did was pull out the old newspaper that had been used as a liner. But before I threw it out, though, I took a look at it. It was from 1943, and it had one story that leaped out at me. It’s amazing how things never change…
There was an account of a woman named Candace Nyhan from California. Let me summarize and pull a few excerpts:
Mrs. Nyhan’s son, Kelly Nyhan, was in the United States Army. He was among the first soldiers ashore in Northern Africa, and died in the battle of Kasserine Pass.
Shortly after the battle, Mrs. Nyhan was among a group of fallen soldiers’ families who met with President Roosevelt after the battle. She initially had kind words for the President, but in the months since then she’s grown more and more bitter and angry, disillusioned with the state of the war.
“On December 7, 1941, we were brutally attacked by the Japanese. Less than a year later, my son was killed fighting Germans in North Africa? Germany never attacked us!”
Mrs. Nyhan has allied herself with several peace groups, along with the remnants of the Friends of New Germany, and is calling for a second meeting with President Roosevelt.
“We have a real enemy in Japan, and a real war to fight in the Pacific. Why are we sending our sons to die off in Africa against Germans? I want to look President Roosevelt in the eye and ask him why my son had to die in pursuit of his reckless, pointless war against Germany.”
Mrs. Nyhan has set up a vigil outside President Roosevelt’s secret retreat, code-named “Shangri-La,” somewhere in the mountains outside Washington. She says she will stay there until she has her meeting.
President Roosevelt’s spokesman said that the President grieves for Mrs. Nyhan’s loss, but has no plans to meet with her a second time, nor to reconsider the war against Germany. He also said that President Roosevelt will continue his non-publicized meetings with families of those lost in the war, extending his condolences and the gratitude of the nation.
Administration sources say that currently, nearly half of each day is spent in these meetings, leaving very little time for the actual planning of the war, but that things are proceeding as planned and the toll they have on the President is “hard, but bearable. He’s a strong, vigorous man.”
The War Department has not released precise figures, but it is believed that total American casualties in the War have exceeded 100,000 in the year since the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor.