Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Greatest Generation

Picture61Recently my wife got the sad news that her grandfather had passed away. At the same time a close friend lost theirs too. It kind of gave me a moment to reflect on grandparents and their generation.Both were members of what has been popularly known as the “Greatest Generation”.  I was talking to a friend today and he told me of a saying that when an older person passes away an encyclopedia of knowledge and experience goes with them. As a kid we may think of these people as just as our Grandparents who may shower us with affection, understand us when our parents don’t, or hug us when were down. At some point as we grow older we may come to understand who they are and what there experiences were. Why perhaps they may hold different values then us and think were crazy at times.

cid_751These two gentlemen lived through quite an historic period of time in our country and the world. They grew up in the depression, fought World War II, lived through the “Cold War”, Korean War, Elvis, Kennedy assassination, The Beatles, Vietnam,  and Watergate to name a few. They do in fact have an encyclopedia's worth of experience. Most of these things are but, things we read about in history books and movies. They lived through them first hand. The fact that they lived through it all is amazing feat. Its a privilege and an honor to have known them.

n532421337_2026520_4109589 Many of them were humble and rarely spoke about what they had lived through. I spoke to a friend who’s father had been a World War II veteran in the Navy. Growing up there father rarely spoke of his experience. One day while watching a film(I believe it was Tora!Tora!Tora!) his father spoke up and described in detail how the airplanes were so low that they were killing sailors in the water with their propellers. He had been at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. Even his wife had not heard him talk of this before.

What will be the great events of history we’ll be telling our children and our grandchildren? They almost seem insignificant in comparison of what this generation went through. As we go through our lives we go along raising families, working, playing and living a life. Perhaps that’s the idea, it was that they were just trying to live a life and dealt with as it came.

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