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When I decided to learn to knit in January of 2016, I was interested in making easy, practical items for several charities.  One of them was Knit Your Bit for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.  All of the information is here:

http://www.nationalww2museum.org/learn/knit-your-bit/how-to-participate.html

In addition to information, there are patterns on this site to use to both knit and crochet scarves.  I knew from my daughter’s experiences from past years that red, white and blue scarves were very popular and that is what I’ve been making.

Recently, though, on the Knit Your Bit Facebook page, I found a pattern for a scarf that has the colors and designs of a National Defense Service Medal.  This medal is a decoration presented to recognize all military members who have served in active duty during a declared “national emergency”.  It is an easy garter stitch striped scarf and interesting with the addition of bright yellow.

To find this pattern, go to the Knit Your Bits Facebook page and search for National Defense Service Stripe Scarf to get the free pattern for a scarf 6 inches wide x 71 inches long, knitted in worsted yarn with size 9 or 10 needles.  Nice item to donate to the museum’s program or to give to your favorite veteran.

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Last Christmas, I asked my younger daughter (an experienced and avid knitter) to gift me with a box of knitting supplies so I could try once again to knit and make some useful items for one of the many charities she supports.  She gave me a wonderful package of instructions, needles, markers and a good supply of red, white and blue yarn.  The yarn was specifically for Knit-Your-Bit, a program at the National WWII Museum in New Orleanshttp://www.nww2m.com/2016/09/knit-your-bit-celebrates-10-years-50000-scarves-for-veterans/

They collect hand-knit scarves for veterans and one event I especially admire is the gift of a scarf to each veteran who comes to the museum on November 11.  My first projects were scarves for this cause …

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…and I later made some in different colors ….

vet-scarf-brwnvet-scarf-rwb

My daughter usually makes one scarf a month for this cause and a week or so ago packaged up all of the scarves we had made this year and shipped them to the museum.  Imagine my delight when a picture appeared on their Facebook page showing a gentleman holding one of my scarves!

14355067_10154177352057535_8485403121546007885_nPhoto used with permission of the National WWII Museum

A close-up of the tag that’s on the scarf reveals that it was part of our large group of scarves – how amazing is that?

I love thinking that a veteran will be wearing one of our scarves or one of the hundreds that have been donated from across the country.

http://www.nww2m.com/2016/09/knit-your-bit-celebrates-10-years-50000-scarves-for-veterans/

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There’s a new park in my neighborhood, dedicated over the Memorial Day weekend.  It’s called Home of the Brave Park and at the very center is a gorgeous memorial to our veterans.

The memorial sets in the middle of a large parcel of land that was home to a fireworks manufacturer since 1931.  The Rozzi family is famous in our area for spectacular shows and provided the fireworks for the first night game ever played in the major leagues – the Cincinnati Reds vs.  the Philadelphia Phillies at Crosley Field on May 24, 1935.  A couple of years ago, the company moved to another location and now their beautiful property is home to a great park that includes a children’s play area with a waterpark, picnic shelter, walking trails, baseball  and soccer fields, and lots of pretty flowers, bushes and trees.

It’s a five-minute drive from my home and I have a feeling the grandchildren are going to be spending a lot of time there this summer.


In August of 1945, I was 12 years old, enjoying the last month of vacation before entering the 8th grade at old Highland School in the East End neighborhood of Cincinnati.

I was obsessed with the Cincinnati Reds who were just terrible that year, but I followed them on the radio, listening to Waite Hoyt’s expert calls interspersed with his stories about the 1927 Yankees where he had been a star pitcher and teammate of Babe Ruth.

V-E Day (the end of the war in Europe) had occurred in May and everyone was hoping and praying for the end of the war in Japan.  I remember seeing pictures in magazines of how things would be once the war was over.  I was particularly impressed with a picture of a candy store display that actually had chocolate bars along with the Chuckles gum drops, taffy and hard candy we were used to seeing throughout the war.

My father showed me a picture of an early television set in one of his radio magazines and promised that soon we would have one of those contraptions in our house where we could watch all kinds of shows, movies and sporting events.  It seemed like all the good things would never happen, but then on August 14, 1945, we got the radio announcement and the headlines in the Cincinnati Post – the war was over!

After supper, it seemed like we ought to do something to celebrate.  My parents weren’t big on celebrations or crowds, but my father thought it would be appropriate to ride into downtown Cincinnati and see what was going on.

My father had a succession of cars throughout the war, patching them up and trying to get them to last the duration.  The one we had in August of 1945 was a coupe with a rumble seat, rare even in those wartime days.


My parents got into the coupe and my sister and I got into the rumble seat.  We drove to downtown Cincinnati and the hub of the city around Fountain Square.  The night of V-J Day was absolute bedlam with people crowding the streets, hanging out of windows, cruising around in their cars wasting valuable rationed gasoline, and screaming at the top of their lungs.   This seemed to be a purely spontaneous celebration – no speeches, no politicians, no music – and when we came rolling down the street in our aged car with the rumble seat, we immediately got everybody’s attention.  At least, here was something to watch – not a parade or band – but something different to see.  Even with all the old automobiles in use during the war, rumble seats were a novelty.  My sister and I smiled, waved and enjoyed the attention.

My sister and I – 1945

Then we made our way out of town and back home to hopes of a bright tomorrow with the return of three uncles who had been on various battlefronts for almost 4 years.

Soon, chocolate bars began appearing in the display case of Schreck’s delicatessen on the corner of our street, and the uncles were all back with their families.

In a few years my father built one of the first television sets in the city (extremely primitive with a tiny postcard sized picture).  The war was finally over.