Once more…this time with a dose of reality
With all the hoopla about the WWII Memorial in D.C. this weekend, the American public has been subjected to more hype about “the greatest generation.”
First, it goes without saying the memorial is deserved, and their accomplishment is unparalelled, and the benefits are precious. These men and women are certainly deserving of all the accolades regarding WWII and there’s a reason that memorial is important.
Yes. They faught and won a war. They had to sacrfice to do it. However, much of that is based on the times they were in. I guess what I’m suggesting is that any generation of American men and women who are asked to do such things and given the resources to do it will indeed rise to the challenge in front of them. I know that burst of patriotism coming from me may surprise many of you but the reality is that I truly believe that.
So, if the standard is winning the war and fighting the imperialists back, then yes…they were the greatest generation. They did what they were asked to do.
But let us be careful about how we measure them. Wasn’t it them that got us into, and never really out of, Vietnam? Wasn’t it them who faught against segregation? Wasn’t it them who took over the roles in government and caused horrible disillusionment (re: Social Security) and lack of trust? And didn’t they raise the most selfish generation of Americans yet (re: Baby Boomers) who still hold their entitlements dear even though their own grandchildren–and beyond–will be paying for them?
My suggestion is that there’s a balance in there somewhere. Words mean things, and I’m not sure they’re the “greatest.” If you’re looking for suggestions, I’m looking at the founding fathers, or maybe I’m looking ahead to this upcoming generation who is going to have to fix an awful lot about the “greatest” generation’s legacy.