Friday, July 9, 2010
Day Two -- Veterans
I was going to write that one of my favorite things is older men. Then I thought that sounded a little "iffy" and seems to imply a woman on the lookout for romance which I'm not. Then I thought maybe I should say "elderly men" but I don't like the term "elderly". The word by itself shouldn't imply someone who hasn't much time left or anything left to give but it does have that certain connotation. So I thought I'd simply say I like old men , and I do, but to further categorize "old men" I realized I am most touched by the American WWII Veterans in that category.
Tom Brokaw coined the term "the greatest generation" and the older I get, the more I agree with that description. These were and are men of integrity, those who fought for an ideal and didn't expect fame, recognition or wealth for it. Most grew up during the Great Depression and knew the meaning of sacrifice, knew what it meant to work hard for what they had and didn't expect a handout.
When Ronald Reagan spoke to an audience of world leaders and D-Day veterans in Normandy he said, "These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war."
They served proudly, they were patriotic, they were loyal and they continue to inspire despite their dwindling numbers. They protected our country, our values and our ideals and I don't know if we'll ever see their likes again. I admire them and salute them.