Generations ago, reporter Edward R. Murrow stirred America with a similar sentence, opening his broadcasts from wartime London.
I've been watching a few dystopian films of late. (Really, who isn't?) The last two I watched have been British, and somewhat obscure. In any case, being of recent postwar vintage, both films made extensive use of footage from "The Blitz" to show a devastated London after apocalyptic happenings.
Fortunately, we're not there yet.
But we very well could be. Have you actually READ the latest from our dear leader? Look, he's an idiot, but it's sometimes easy to overlook HOW idiotic he actually is when listening to him. Take a look at a recent statement in print:
Borrowing from Mondo, this is a man who appears to be deep in the throes of tertiary syphilis, but I digress.
But back to London - in those days, the best Leader of all time was in charge. (My opinion - your mileage may vary), and "Keep Calm and Carry On" wasn't a meme yet - it was the daily way of life. The citizens of that battered city did their best to make the most of daily life. They weren't under as hard a quarantine as we are today, but they were under military-enforced curfew. Running out of toilet paper or food was a near-daily occurrence, and in their case, those items were rationed. If you ran out, you didn't get more until it was your turn again.
In America today, we've run out of items because we did it ourselves. We don't have enemy vehicles torpedoing trucks on the highway and destroying the supply chain now, do we?
In any case - London came through. A particular turning point came in November of 1942. England had turned back Rommel at the gates of Alexandria (Egypt), and everyone thought it was a tremendous victory at the time. Once again, PM Churchill focused everyone on the reality of the situation.
Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
In our current war, we've not reached any significant turning points. If we want a comparison - It's December 8, 1941 still. There is only chaos and confusion, and so far there is no coherent strategy to fight back. There's been a series of skirmishes and battles, and perhaps a small victory here and there, but so far we don't have an answer or a strategy.
As I noted on the book of face the other day - "We have 50 states, and 50 different responses. That's not very 'United States' is it?" If this is the way we're going to run things, then the country is already dead and we should dissolve the union, since it doesn't really exist anyway.
In the end, The Blitz lasted in London for about nine months. After the last major raid on 10/11 May 1941, the Luftwaffe knew they were beaten, and raids sort of petered out. There was never any real "end" or declaration of victory - London knew they would never be bombed again only years later, after 7 May 1945.
The current struggle feels like it will end the same way. There's not going to be a clear end, or a national "All Clear" signal - although given the dolt in the White House now, I'm sure there will be a "Mission Accomplished" moment at some point in time.