We were reminded recently of just how many regular heroes from that era are still among us. But it’s not going to be that way for much longer. Veterans from World War II, men and women, are now in their 80s and 90s. They were called “The Greatest Generation” for a number of reasons, but perhaps their greatness came because while most were from ordinary backgrounds, they were called upon to perform extraordinary feats.
Young men were put in harm’s way to turn the Axis tide. Many gave the ultimate sacrifice. Most were not looking for glory or driven by some romantic notion of what life in wartime was. Most went because their government said they had to, and they answered the call with bravery and modest heroism.
Memorial Day is always a time to remember those who served, and all who have come and gone. But, as many of the greatest generation answer the final call, we urge all to take a special minute to say thanks.
Many of the survivors from World War II, those on the front lines and those on the home front, gave much for the country. Those who didn’t return gave even more. So much, that it is difficult for many to fathom today.
While many have answered the call of their country in more recent conflicts, from Korea to Kosovo, from Vietnam to Afghanistan and Iraq, there is nothing that quite matches the scale of World War II. We hope and pray the world sees nothing like that again.
We also give another thank you to the men and women who gave so much for so many.
“Without heroes, we are all plain people, and don't know how far we can go” Bernard Malamud