Editorial: How do you explain this? (12-24-43)

The Pittsburgh Press (December 24, 1943)

Editorial: How do you explain this?

Tomorrow, Christmas Day, American boys will die in battle in New Britain, in Italy or elsewhere in the world.

Wars do not stop for holidays.

Yet we at home will be celebrating Christmas much as usual. Many homes have been saddened by news of young men who will never be home again. Thousands of others will miss beloved members absent on military duty.

But, in general, those at home will take the day off, exchange gifts, feast on good food and otherwise observe the pleasures of the season.

None of us will be crouching in foxholes, ducking bombs or strafing planes, eating canned rations, dodging ack-ack over Germany, fighting malaria and Japs in jungles.

Under these circumstances, it would seem only natural that the fortunate ones at home would be making every effort to make the simple contributions which would help the men at the battlefronts.

For instance, we would be eager to donate blood to the Red Cross. The plasma processed by the Red Cross for the Army and Navy is distributed to the war fronts and has already saved thousands of lives. But the biggest battles are yet to come and millions of pints are urgently needed.

In spite of this, the Red Cross bank here reports a tragic decline in blood donations. From Dec. 1 to 21, the Red Cross made appointments for 9,730 persons to appear at the Wabash Building. Only 4,475 kept these appointments and while the time was reserved for them, they even failed in the east chore of telephoning to cancel the appointments.

Today, the Red Cross Blood Center is closed – for lack of appointments. And unless there’s an increase in donors, it will be closed again next Friday.

How can you explain this?

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