The Greatest Generation

  1. As a veteran myself I find it very heartining to see people thanking vets, especially WWII vets. The conflicts I was involved in were like kicking over a fruit stand compared to the battles that took place in WWII. The WWII vets were very young and had the responsibility of fighting facism bent on world domination on two seperate fronts. A tall order for any generation. But they took this responsibility and did not question what was needed to be done. My father who was a paratrooper in WWII encouraged me to learn as much as I could about the war. Since he belived that when people forgot history; it was doomed to repeat itself.

    When I graduated from high school and was joining the army in the following week. My late father pulled out his high school graduation photo, and there were about 50 young boys in the picture. He told me only about 6 of them lived throough the War. He was not bitter about losing his friends at such a young age. They understood that sacrifices had to be made even if it meant their own lives. It was something that had to be done.
    I often wonder if our current generation of self absorbtion and cyncism would answer the call of their country. In Pearl Harbor we lost over 2400 people. Millions signed up in the service and the recruting lines were blocks long. Many men who could not pass the physical examination commited suicide. Women poured into the workplace and fired the great engine of democracy to help the war effort. Everything was rationed and everyone was in some way involved in one great effort. They did the unthinkable and in five short years defeated two axis powers and lost 408,000 of their best and brightest.
    After 9/11 were over 3000 innocent people died on another vile sneak attack on our country. There are protests against our retalation and questions if we should even persue the terrorists and their host nations.
    Ask someone from the WWII generation what should be done in the current situation. I am sure their response will be similar to my late fathers response; which would be "lets give em hell!"
    Last edit by shootemrn on May 28, '02
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   fergus51
    I completely agree WWII vets deserve our utmost respet and gratitude. My grandfather is a WWII vet and sacrificed a lot. He still doesn't like to talk about the war. He was not happy with our retaliation mainly because he feels we should be attacking Saudi Arabia!!!

    I think anyone who joins the armed forces deserves a big thank you!!!
  4. by   prn nurse
    Your granddad must be about 85 now. His generation was the greatest. But why does "pop" think we should bomb Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia has consistently been our ally for 85 years. The Saudi kings have befriended every American president. They have done every thing they can to help Americans. And , unlike the Israeli's who cost the American taxpayer $ 7,000,000,000 a year.....the Saudi's do not cost us a nickel.
  5. by   Q.
    I've always admired the WWII generation for alot of things, but namely, you have a generation who was so steadfast and great, that they were able to set up our country so that it was able to tolerate a whole nother generation (Boomers) who went through that whole flower child, sex, love, drugs, rock and roll, without the country falling to it's knees.

  6. by   prn nurse
    The Greatest Generation fought the Germans and Japanese---on other soils. Roosevelt and Churchill cooperated, Roosevelt was brilliant enough to listen to and take Churchill's advice....finally, after 3 years of warnings and requests. This country pulled together and sacrificed to keep the war in Europe. Roosedvelt realized if the Germans were not stopped in Europe and North Africa, we would have to fight them on our own soil. Churchill et al warned of the hydrogen bomb potential. They preserved ours and others countries.
    I admire them and appreciate what they did. I always hate it though when people forget or do not know that the Russians lost 24 million men in that war.... to our 1/2 million.
    The boomers have to be the 2nd greatest generation. I admire what the Boomers did for everyday Americans. They demanded a stop to the Vietnam war. They lived thru a presidents' assassination....a real eye opening event at the time. They supported the womens' rights movement and protested and demanded womens' rights...then protested and demanded equal / Civil rights. Kept marching and protesting thru MLK and Robt. Kennedys assassinations....brought about the resignation of President Lyndon Johnson.....From 1962 thru 1973 this country changed 180 degrees.....All that weed and flower power was powerful motivators for social change.....
  7. by   Q.
    Nawww Prn, the second greatest generation is Gen X, who despite parents who left them at home to fend for themselves (we have Boomers to thank for latch-key kids) and who had kids as a result of indescretions from the 60's hayday, and were all into their careers, the Gen Xers have risen above that and actually plan on having kids, (versus NOT planning at all)and making accomodations so they can be raised by their parents, and not childcare centers or MTV.

    Gen Xers take responsibility for their futures, and not rely on companies to "take care of them" when they retire, and they say "gosh darn, where did that pension go?"

    Last edit by Susy K on May 29, '02
  8. by   prn nurse
    It's easy to "plan" a family with the benefit of abortion when the pill is forgotten.....How many millions of abortions has there been? I think abortion was legalized in '74, by the protesting "Womens' Libbers" of the 60's....womens' liberation. You X er's owe a debt of gratitude to the Boomers..... I guess each generation owes the previous one. The Greatest Generation thought the struggles of the generation before theirs was the hardest. They weren't starving, going barefoot, living in houses without electricity or running water, flush toilets, etc.
    You X er's sound a little too vanilla for me...........a little too Velveeta..............no surprises..........no protests.......no initiative,........too "eager to please"......................i.e. .............."good little citizens"
  9. by   Q.
    Originally posted by prn nurse
    It's easy to "plan" a family with the benefit of abortion when the pill is forgotten.....How many millions of abortions has there been? I think abortion was legalized in '74, by the protesting "Womens' Libbers" of the 60's....womens' liberation. You X er's owe a debt of gratitude to the Boomers.

    Touche' Prn.

    LOVE this dialouge. :kiss
  10. by   fergus51
    Originally posted by prn nurse
    Your granddad must be about 85 now. His generation was the greatest. But why does "pop" think we should bomb Saudi Arabia? Saudi Arabia has consistently been our ally for 85 years. The Saudi kings have befriended every American president. They have done every thing they can to help Americans. And , unlike the Israeli's who cost the American taxpayer $ 7,000,000,000 a year.....the Saudi's do not cost us a nickel.
    My grandpa is actually 86 (and sharp as a tack) and thinks we should be bombing Saudi Arabia because of the fact that most of the high jackers were from Saudi Arabia, as is Bin Laden. And the fact that Saudi Arabia exports Wahabit (I can't spell it) Islam, which is basically the most fundamental type of Islam, to the rest of the world. They were one of only 3 nations that recognized the Taliban as the legitimate leader of Afghanistan, so my gramps doesn't feel to friendly towards them. It only got worse when it became clear that Bush would have to resolve the Palestinian issue or get no support from SA on the Iraq issue. Basically he thinks they say one thing (they're our friends!!!), but are the biggest supporters and exporters of terrorism in the world. Sounds about right to me after reading some of their newspaper articles glorifying suicide bombers and blaming the WTC attacks on the Jews.
  11. by   nurs4kids
    I dunno about the "Greatest Generation"..
    I live in the future, not the past..
    so for me, the GREATEST Generation is those who are kids/men/women NOW..fighting for MY freedom NOW...fighting for my kids freedom of TOMORROW..

    I appreciate every veteran...all were "great", but most of all, I appreciate those who are willing to sacrifice today when "sacrifice" isn't the norm for society.
  12. by   OBNURSEHEATHER
    Originally posted by nurs4kids
    for me, the GREATEST Generation is those who are kids/men/women NOW..fighting for MY freedom NOW...fighting for my kids freedom of TOMORROW..

    I appreciate every veteran...all were "great", but most of all, I appreciate those who are willing to sacrifice today when "sacrifice" isn't the norm for society.
    Well said!

    Heather
  13. by   CATHYW
    Well, ya'll, my 2 cents' worth agrees that the men and women who fought and lived through the Depression and WWII are "The Greatest Beneration," for one simple reason-if they had not been strong and perservered, none of us would be here to debate anything today. It is a testimony to the toughness and grit of Americans that they could sustain themselves, have children who grew up to be the strong young men and women of WWII who didn't know what the words "quit, or give up" meant. Yes, wars are waged on political ideologies by politicos, but it is the regular folks who fight them, and they bring it down to a "you and me" level. That was the main problem in Vietnam-if they had let the military fight the way they were trained to, and not second and third-guessed and manipulated from afar by political puppeteers, that war would likely have had a different outcome.

    My daddy was on Luzon in the Phillipines-he replaced a man who died on the Bataan death march. He is 77, and still can't talk about what he participated in, except with other vets when they get together for reunions. Whenever he got the chance, he sat with me and narrated newsreels (without sound) that were shown as "fillers" on TV in the 50's and early 60's. He wanted me to know what war was like, and also to be able to recognize the different tanks and airplanes. We put together models of airplanes that were used in WWII, so I would know what to look for. He never actually said so, but from way back there, why was he teaching me all of that stuff, unless it was because he thought that someday, we would be defending our own country?

    All people in the military are heroes, in my book. The go, and have gone, where nobody else will go. My Dad's generation, though, were men and women without equal.
  14. by   live4today
    Ditto to all the above, and Amen to top it all off! Hats off to every man and woman who has ever served in the capacity of helping our country to remain free.

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