It’s great to see and read from so many friends from Germantown and those interested in Germantown, Both of these sites, Germantown Thoughts and Germantown Forum offer a great insight of the times that were and where we are now. I believe it to be true to most of you, I think that you have missed this site as much as I did during the last few months. It is nice to hear where people are now and what they are doing. I sometimes find that a word or expression can at times be misunderstood. To show an example, I recently found a card stuck in with some of my father’s papers. It was sent out during World War II and reads:
Dr. James C. McConnell 5139 Wayne Ave. Germantown Philadelphia It is with regret that I must inform you of the termination of my practice for the duration, due to the emergency. As you know our Country is in need of dentists and I felt it my duty and privilege to volunteer my services. I regret not being able to give my patients prior notice of the change, but when I received my appointment, the Army stated that I should report for immediate service. Should you be in need of dental care during my absence, may I suggest that you call on Dr. Elmer C. Stockburger, 5538 Wayne Ave. Germantown. I have greatly appreciated your past business and trust that I may feel free to let you know when I return to civilian practice. Yours very sincerely,
First of all it is a great and articulated message, the expression that I refer to is “for the duration”. This was a very common term during the early 1940’s and if you watch movies made at this time you will hear it mentioned. Many people misunderstood what the duration meant--to most people they felt it meant the end of the fighting. When Germany surrendered in May 1945 most to the soldiers in Europe felt that they would sent on to Japan, then Japan surrendered in August 1945, it was then that many of the Americans found out what “for the duration” meant. What it meant was when the President declared officially an end of hostilities. Now most of the soldiers were sent home in Nov. & Dec. of “45” and Jan. of 1946. President Truman officially declared an end of hostilities on Dec. 31, 1946, a few men in special areas of training had to wait that long. I recall reading that the Germantown Boys Club gave free admission to the service men during the war and also for one year after the duration.