The War Generation Passes

From 1995.  As they are leaving us now, we should recall how the War marked the men and women of the generation of World War II, particularly those in their twenties and thirties.  They didn’t talk much about it, that wasn’t their style, and they had been eager for the madness of the War to end and return to normal life, but mark them it did.  As far as I know, Prince Philip was the last high level figure in public life who was a combat veteran of that great conflict.  With his passing we see the passing of a great generation, a title they would doubtless have scoffed at, particularly during the War, when their songs tended to be about anything other than the War or to engage in mockery of the crucible they were passing through.

Slightly over 300,000 American veterans of the Big One are still alive, out of the sixteen million who served.  About one hundred thousand British veterans  of the 2.9 million who served are still alive.

My Bride and I took a vacation week last week.  Over the weekend before last we visited the mother in law who turned 89 in December and who is still spry and active.  As we do during each visit, we went out to the grave of the father-in-law who passed away in 1997.  He served in the Navy during World War II, enlisting at age 17 with the permission of his parents.  As we were making our way to his grave we passed by the graves of many other World War II vets, and it occurred to me that these men and their wives were the building blocks of our world.

Published in: on April 22, 2021 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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