When World War II came, nobody complained when high school dropouts volunteered and went to war.
In a Crisis, Nobody Cares about your Degree
It’s Memorial Day this Monday. I’ll be driving from Mount Pulaski, IL to Chicago, IL that day. But I since I write about high school dropouts and the GED, I remembered something.
The GED was developed so that American and Canadian World War II veterans could earn the equivalent of a high school degree and perhaps go to college. After all, these men and women had risked their lives and given their time in service to their country.
Many high school dropouts who come to this website may feel bad about being a dropout. But there was a time when being a high school dropout carried no stigma.
As World War II began, the United States and Canada didn’t mind at all that high school dropouts volunteered to serve their country.
28% of Americans Fighting in WWII were Dropouts
I don’t know if it’s true, but it sounds right to me. I’m not spending a lot of research on this question. But if you’re interested, visit http://www.ww2hc.org/articles/silentrevolution.pdf .
High school dropouts accounted for 28% of all American forces while 33% had completed only elementary school. (The demands of the Depression were overwhelming.)
The Great Depression of the 1930’s altered many lives, forced many children to drop out of high school and work. Those children did so to support their jobless parents and families.
High School Dropouts in the Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq/Afghanistan Wars
I have no statistics on high school dropouts from those different wars. But I believe that in a national crisis, nobody asks many questions about whether or not you finished high school.
Paying Homage to all Veterans, of all Educational Backgrounds
I grew up attending parades on Memorial Day in Skokie, IL USA. I watched as WWI, WWII, and Korean veterans marched down Lincoln Avenue, marching proudly, heads held high. Many of them were probably high school dropouts, or GED recipients. But nobody asks these questions anymore.
But this Memorial Day 2011, visit a parade. Or buy a an old or young veteran a beer. Honor the veterans. And remember the ultimate sacrifice these veterans gave to their country, whether they were high school graduates or not.