Now and then a reader asks why the Gazette does not print anything about the war. Don’t we realize that this generation is witnessing one of the greatest ordeals the world has ever known, and that the tragedy on so vast a scale cannot fail to affect all our lives? How can we remain silent?
The impact of what is happening abroad is borne in upon us in a hundred different ways, and if there were anything we might say in these columns which would help toward understanding we should be glad to say it now. But there is already a disproportion in the modern world which gives to news and comment of the war all the force and weight of the war itself. The radio brings bulletins every hour, the daily newspapers keep pace with events over a vast surface of the earth and add the fluid comment of experts who have made a life study of nations and their wars. Our public here on the Vineyard is as intimate with the conditions of the ordeal as any public anywhere.
The war needs clear thinking, but it does not help for our own people to fight it step by step with their emotions. Along with the news from abroad and the comment by experts we need something else without which our capacity for thought is incomplete. This something else is the substance of our own life, national and individual, which we have built in this country and in which we believe. Faith in democracy is hardly enough, unless the faith is being dem­onstrated in our daily concerns.
As we conceive it, the place of a local weekly newspaper — a country newspaper, if you will — is not to cry up at second hand even more of the alarms from afar. It is not to weigh even more heavily the frightful balance which stands against normal life and thought, but, on the contrary, to keep filling out the round of our existence with those ordinary things which at this time can best assure us that there is a future and that there is hope.
The omission of war news from these columns is not simply a negative thing; it is, we think, a constructive contribution in a troubled time. Nobody in America can forget or overlook the con­flict and the overtones of the conflict, but some may need a root or branch upon which to cling to ordinary life. Our concern, as things are, is with such roots and such branches.