I just finished watching “Flags of our Fathers.” It’s a fascinating movie, I’d recommend it to anyone. But it made me think of my grandfather and other members of my family that have served this great nation at one point or another in their lifetimes. Especially in World War II, where those who served our country are referred to as the “Greatest Generation.”
Such a moniker seems almost exaggerated, doesn’t it? As if we could pinpoint throughout the brief history of our nation which generation was truly the greatest. Some may argue that it was those of the Revolutionary War, the men and women who died at the very inception of our nation. I’m not sure I could choose. But I will say that the “Greatest Generation” of WWII was far greater than this generation.
You see, back then the nation was generally united. Women started working in factories while their husbands went off to war. People rationed almost everything to make sure our men in uniform had adequate supplies. Some even bought war bonds to help pay for the war effort. The war effort was a team effort. And that team was the generation that defeated the evil of fascism in Germany, Italy, and Japan. Americans were proud to be American. Hundreds of thousands fought and died for the freedoms that don’t even occur to us today.
In this generation there is almost an overall pessimism about our country. Americans are almost ashamed to be American because many nations around the world don’t favor our policies. Fighting throughout our political arena has caused not only the morale of our troops to be low, but also the morale of our very nation to sink.
Those who have served our country, risking or even losing their lives for the ideals we hold dear should be ashamed of us. We have failed those of the “Greatest Generation.”
I believe that there are several factors that play into this present situation. Scandal-ridden politicians like Nixon and Bill Clinton have caused Americans to take rather low view of our highest leaders. Those in positions of authority no longer seem to regard themselves as moral examples for the rest of the country. It’s shameless and indefensible.
The media is largely to blame as well. They have thrown news story after news story at us including Catholic priest scandals, failures and lives lost in Iraq, gruesome murders, all sorts of negative events that happen everyday. It’s almost as if the media feeds on tragedy so they can regurgitate it out into our televisions. The positive things that happen everyday are downplayed and pushed to the side. The media of the “Greatest Generation” generally sought to promote the positive causes and the necessity of the war. But today, for the most part, all we see is one-sided liberal negativity.
To combat this, Americans must take pride in our country and look to the positive things we have to offer the world. Ronald Reagan once referred to us as the “shining city upon a hill.” America is and can continue to be the light of freedom for the world; we mustn’t forget that. We must remember that we are products of a generation that fought for our freedom, many of them laying down their very lives for us. It is our duty to pass on the freedoms that have been protected our forefathers. May God bless America!