Memorial Day and the World War II Generation

Memorial Day is here and the melancholy reflection occurs to me that almost all the many World War II veterans I have known over the years are dead.  My father in law, who served in World War II as a very young Navy cook and spent almost all of the War at sea on combat tours, has been gone now for twenty-four years.  The passage of time is inevitable in this Vale of Tears, but we do not have to like it.  Of course in reference to Memorial Day we have been down this path before.  Started as Decoration Day after the Civil War by troops of that conflict so that their comrades who fell would never be forgotten, parades by veterans were a common feature throughout the country, and the nation thus witnessed as those stalwart young men year by year passed into middle age, old age and then merely passed beyond our ken into eternity.

When this country entered into World War II in 1941, it was eighty years since the beginning of the Civil War, and the veterans of that conflict were sparse on the ground, the few elderly survivors now being driven in parades, their marching days long behind them.  We are of course now eighty years beyond 1941.  At the time of World War II the men fighting that War would occasionally reference the men who had fought in prior wars to safeguard the freedom that they were now fighting and dying for.  By their sacrifice they honored the sacrifice of those who had gone before.  Not a bad reflection, and lesson, as we enjoy Memorial Day this year of grace 2021.

Published in: on May 31, 2021 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Memorial Day and the World War II Generation  
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