You know, while entertaining at the Legion recently, I overheard a couple of folks complaining about the potential for gas prices going to $2 a litre and possibly even more. I grabbed the microphone between songs and said, “Anyone here around during World War II?” Turns out no one was. Neither was I. “That’s OK,” I continued, “because being a student of history tells me that North Americans made big sacrifices to enable the Allied war effort in Europe. Rationing of meats and processed foods, vital for soldiers abroad, and supplies such as gasoline, butter, canned milk and sugar were rationed so they could be provided for the war effort. Cutting back on gasoline and other fuels kept energy-hungry tanks and battleships and planes running. Governments urged people to leave out anything that strained fuel resources — even advising taking shorter showers. Scrap drives became common, with folks contributing rags, rubber, paper or metal to help build airplanes and other equipment needed to fight the war. Governments also offered war bonds that citizens could purchase to invest in the country and help pay for military equipment.”
I then summed it up: “I’m going to bet that back then, people were not overly thrilled about having to pay more for some goods while needing to ration others. After all, we had just started emerging from the Great Depression. But North Americans sucked it up anyway, getting behind the effort to help win the war. Don’t you think we should be doing that now to support our friends in Ukraine? Sending a message to that thug Putin: ‘We’re not afraid of you and we’re not afraid to do whatever we need to do to stop you.’
And if that means $2 a litre or more for gas, so be it. Just remember this: it won’t be forever!’
That got a big round of applause and the show carried on.
I’m glad I said what I said.