Father Taylor should write this column, and sign his name, for he secured all the information found herein. In other words, he pinch-hit for me last Saturday - at the luncheon sponsored by the Cleveland Press, at which Hugh Baillie, President of the United Press, gave his important and revealing talk. When I told Mr. Walker about the forthcoming event - with news fresh from the battle front - he generously financed the whole thing, with a little spending money on the side. Estelle got my ticket - at a ringside table, and I was all set. Then came the news of the serious illness of my little room-mate, and class-mate at Indiana (long, long ago) - Mary Hopkins Pollock, of Marion Center. She is still in Adrian Hospital, Punxsutawney, and will be for some time. But she is out of danger now. I thought sure the hospital would present me with a nurse's cap after my internship. But maybe they had another kind of cap in mind. By the way, Adrian Hospital is far above the average. What a spirit of friendliness and sympathetic interest. The nurses teased my little friend unmercifully, but she had the tenderest care - and the best of care. Maybe her sweet and gracious ways had something to do with it.
Now for Hugh Baillie, and the highlights of his address. He has returned quite recently from the European theater of war. He was in England, North Africa, Sicily, and Italy - for a period of three months. Because of his high position, he was granted the privilege of going where he wished. He talked with Eisenhower, Patton, Clark, Montgomery, Bradley, Halsey, and others. He said the Germans were tough, and that the war in Europe is not near its end. That is bad news, but we need to know it, and stop our juvenile plans for celebrating V-Day. The going is tough for our boys 'over there'; water six inches deep in some of their fox-holes, rain, mud, slush, where they have to be for days, weeks, and months. Mr. Baillie talked with the boys - to learn the thoughts uppermost in their minds. If they confided to him their opinion of our strikes, and other un-American activities, unworthy of their sacrifice, he did not reveal that opinion. In answer to questions along that line, he said the one big thought that fills their minds, and drives them forward, is this: "When will this mess be over, so we can get home again?" HOME. The sweetest word in the world to them. On his return trip he stayed in London awhile, and while there experienced the 'thrill' of a "buzz bomb." It sounded similar to thunder when it landed. It caused such a tremendous shaking, he thought it was near by, but was astonished to find it was five or six miles away. It dug a hole in the pavement thirty feet deep, and hurled the houses to the back end of the lot, shattering much of them to debris. On board his return plane were some of the boys who had done some of the bombing over there. As they approached their native shores, their faces were pressed against the windows, their hearts welling up to overflowing. When they saw the lights of New York, after the months and years of blackouts, their feelings gave way to these words, "What a target!"
During the last war there were many stories of the cruelties perpetrated by the Germans. These were labelled "Propaganda." Mr. Baillie wanted to learn for himself if the stories of 'torture chambers' in this war were really true. Alas, they are all too true. The one that Mr. Baillie described is too horrible to relate. Suffice to say that it is imperative that we wipe out such dastardly cruelty forever. Our boys, plodding forward over wretched terrain, enveloped in the chill of winter and the terrifying chill of enemy territory, are looking to us to put the weapons in their hands to end this war. WE CANNOT LET THEM DOWN. LEND ALL YOU CAN, YOUR DOLLARS MAY SAVE SOME OF OUR BOYS' LIVES!
Yours for a swift victory,
Florence B. Taylor.
Next - 12/7/44 - Shelby Coffman. Johnnie Gilkerson
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