Bless Your Hearts-The North Platte Canteen. Penned by Charlotte Endorf, Illustrated by Ethan Nelson. Biography and Autobiography. Height-9 in. Width-6 in.
Pearl Harbor and World War II changed the world. Six million service men and women were aboard troop trains that crisscrossed the nation, and the brief minutes they were going to spend in North Platte would be remembered for a lifetime. Early in the morning on December 17th the story got around that a train of local soldiers would pass through at 11 a.m. A small group gathered at the station and waited. Shortly after noon, a train pulled in, but it wasn't the local boys. Word passed that the locals would surely arrive by 3:00 p.m. A larger crowd had gathered, only to hear that a troop train would not arrive until 4:30 p.m. By this time, the "grapevine" had run its course and about five hundred relatives and friends of the soldiers huddled together at the depot. Baskets of fruit, Christmas gifts, and fruit cakes were on hand. Read Bless Your Hearts to learn how this single idea turned into a fifty-one month operation with volunteers from more than one hundred communities in Nebraska and Colorado. These towns were called their "Honor Roll." Volunteers working at the desk wrote all types of cards, letters, and telegrams for the soldiers who had too little time to do so themselves. A total of $137,884.72 in 1940's dollars supported this worthy project, with no governmental aid.