“Making Do”

Definition of COPE/COPING

1 a: to deal with and attempt to overcome problems and difficulties —often used with with <learning to cope with the demands of her schedule>


Making Do

World War II gave the nation a lesson in “making do.” Rationing limited the amount and kind of food a family could have. It limited the distances one could drive. It made individual family members learn to cope with shortages, deal with emergencies, endure loss, and work with one another in support of a war effort. City dwellers planted “Victory Gardens”; rural farmers pooled gasoline rations to run tractors and harvesters. Civil Defense officers taught civilians to “spot” aircraft and to recognize plane types. Medical facilities encouraged blood donations. Nearly every family could recount a sacrifice or hardship during the war that helped mold World War II Americans into the country’s “Greatest Generation.”

“We are still talking about the first meal we attempted to eat in the …blackout. We couldn’t see each other nor anything on the table, so we literally had to feel our way through the meal.”

Excerpt of a letter written by Richard Wrenshall in 1942–                                                                                                                                       From a display at the WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument, Honolulu, HI


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