- Born in the optimism after WWI, right in the middle of the roaring 20s.
- You grew up in the pre-vaccination, pre-anti-biotic era.
- Your most formative years were during the Great Depression with the economic, social, and environmental nightmare that was the 1930s.
- You found yourself at the other end of the world at the prime of your life. Hundreds of thousands of your countrymen dead in a world that just killed roughly 74 million people ... yet your nation stood athwart the free world dominate and growing.
- By the time you were a 30-something, that Depression child was driving his new '57 Chevy to his new ranch home and working on his third kid. In your 40s at the cusp of your generations power, you brought the long overdue but ripe Voting Rights and Civil Rights Act ... then the wheels came off.
- In the 30-years since that Chevy, you found that your generation screwed up the Vietnam War, destroyed its cities with urban renewal, brought the NYC of the gritty 1970s, Jimmy Carter, and everything else. The kids you gave everything to squandered your gift, as you left them so much, and in turn you saw them leave their kids nothing but student loan debt, the world's greatest debtor nation, and a wreckage of a popular & family culture to clean up.
As I look a back 30-years from today for Gen-X and younger, in a way we are lucky. Compered to the Greatest Generation, besides a few things, there is not all that much different from 1984 to 2014. Imagine the Greatest Generation though; what a different 30-yr arch from 1941 to 1971. From biplanes to man on the moon. Then again, we've gone from space shuttles to riding in the back of Russian capsules, but that is perhaps a topic for another day.
In any event, yesterday was VE Day and had me pondering that Generation leaving us - and before we have too much of a pity party in our relatively peaceful world - let's take a moment to recognize that even though they got some things wrong - they got a lot more right and for better or worse, gave us the world we have.
State by State, in WWII they earned it fullbore;
U.S. Army and Army Air Force CasualtiesCompared to other nations, we lost so few - and the scale of that war should remind us that 416,800 was few; we are #7 in number of military deaths.
District of Columbia (3,029)
New Hampshire (1,203)
New Jersey (10,372)
New Mexico (2,032)
New York (31,215)
North Carolina (7,109)
North Dakota (1,626)
Rhode Island (1,669)
South Carolina (3,423)
South Dakota (1,426)
West Virginia (4,865)
Territories of the U.S. (1,179)
U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Casualties
District of Columbia (353)
New Hampshire (326)
New Jersey (2,182)
New Mexico (224)
New York (5,207)
North Carolina (1,378)
North Dakota (313)
Rhode Island (488)
South Carolina (730)
South Dakota (299)
West Virginia (963)
Territories of the U.S. (572)