I saw a very touching segment on Sunday Morning today...it was about people helping people, respecting their elders, and giving to those who have given all of us so much! It was about making a difference in a "real way". Not about driving a hybrid car, not about leaving a "greener ecological footprint", not about a bunch of bologna. It was about helping veterans who sacrificed the most, and spoke the least about it. Didn't whine and cry and go into therapy for years. But came home, got jobs, raised their families and got on with life. But maybe that comes from the fact that they were the children of the depression. Who grew up with nothing and knew that if they wanted better for their children then they would have to fight and work like hell to give it to them. And they did.... and that's why this was so touching to me.
13 million American soldiers fought in World War 2...in the 1940's. A war memorial was not built for these heroes, who saved the entire world from certain Nazi regime until 2004....50 years after the war was over. Because this is a generation of people would never think to ask, I assume. I see that in my own grandparents....it's not the "me generation" as I see most of the subsequent generations are. I really think they are the last of the selfless collectiveness and they are passing away at a rate of 1200-1500 per day.
There has been a campaign spearheaded called Honor Flight ,which flies veterans out to see the World War II Memorial. Communities are coming together and having fundraisers to pay for the trip of their veterans. Boy scouts are having spaghetti feeds. Local business' are donating. Volunteer's are paying their own way to accompany the elderly to assist with pushing wheelchairs and what ever other help is needed. This is the kind of thing I want to do with my life. I want to make a difference in this way...with a real payoff...not a feeling of "am I doing the right thing???" But knowing I'm making a difference in a way that can be remembered and seen and recalled. Grabbing the bull by the horns kind of difference...aggressive, not passive. And this is an urgent difference. People who are signed up to make the trip often don't make it, because they pass on before the flight....such a shame.
Anyway...the new Ken Burns film is coming to PBS next week I will watch it and cry through the entire thing I'm sure. I hope all of you will watch it and think.....really think. This is who we were, not that long ago. And think of who we are now. Very different indeed! And please... when you are around people of this generation, give them the repect they so profoundly deserve! Don't talk down to them, don't degrade them, remember who they were not so very long ago.