It’s hard for me to believe that Sir Winston Churchill died so long ago. The date was April 26, 1965. I was in high school and I recall weeping uncontrollably when I heard what for me was devastating news, for I was a little bit in love with Winston. He was a man worth loving! As an avid reader, I had read most of Winston’s books by then, and had been a keen follower of his life since I was about 12 years old. During my teenage years, I always dreamed of meeting two men, Sir Winston Churchill and Dr. Thomas Dooley. Both died before I got the chance to do so, (although I realize that it was unlikely for a little girl from Alabama to have met Churchill).
I was chatting with a dear friend from England a few years back and was horrified to discover that this friend (who was educated in England, and someone I consider intelligent) did not know everything that there is to know about Winston. I fear that England’s school systems are ignoring Winston, and if that is so, I am very baffled and sad. There should be classes devoted to the study of Winston’s life.
While most remember him as a statesman during the perious time of World War II, few know that he was one of the greatest writers of our time, and not only that, was a fearless warrior, volunteering in every conflict he could find! He was a dashing soldier and one of the boldest I’ve ever read about. Peering at his late life photos, who would have guessed???
I will always believe that if Winston had not been selected as Prime Minister in 1940, that there was a very real possibility that the Nazis would have won the war, and the entire world would have been plunged into a great darkness that might have taken many many years to overthrow. But Winston’s unflinching determination to defeat Hitler and to convince the USA to enter the war, along with his most inspiring speeches, turned the tide of defeatism which had caused France to fall, and was gathering steam in England. After World War I, Americans were absolutely against entering another European war, but once we were attacked by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor, Americans realized that they had no choice but to roll up their sleeves and join the allies in defeating the Nazis, one of the most brual regimes ever to exist, and to also defend ourselves and the Pacific countries from the Japanese, who had dark plans for their corner of the world.
Few people today realize that the outcome was not guarenteed. It was touch and go on many occasions during World War II. There was a very real possibility that England, Australia, Russia, the USA, Philippines, Canada and the other allies might well have lost the war. THEN WHAT???!!!!! I shutter to think what our world would be today. As bad as it can seem, it would have been so much worse. Going by Hitler’s theory of a super-race, and his death and work camps working overtime to murder as many Slavs and Jews and others as possible, quite possibly everyone on earth other than blue-eyed blondes would have been exterminated or made into work slaves! We can’t forget the plight of the Chinese and Koreans and Filipinos and others living in the Pacific basin. Everyone had to join together against the axis powers or else! But, thankfully there were men like Winston, as well as many brave women, particularly the women who joined the various resistance movements, who refused to give up, even in the darkest moments when it seemed that all was lost.
Even after all these years, I get tears in my eyes that the world lost Winston. I wish he was here today to inspire us all, once again.
HERE’S TO SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL! Although he was not a perfect man, and I never agreed with his colonial aspirations, may the world never forget the huge debt we all owe him!