The Greatest Generation, so named by Tom Brokaw of those Americans who were born between 1910 and 1924, were buffeted by the Great Depression and World War II. Whether because of these challenges or in spite of them, this generation was known for self sacrifice, integrity and humility. Many of them died in war to literally save the world from the tyranny of an egomaniacal racist. In the process, Germany and Japan were vanquished as enemies and reborn as allies. In the process, America became a beacon of hope for the world and provided abundance for most of its citizenry.
Today we are watching the final days of a president for whom a sizeable minority of Americans voted in both 2016 and 2020. He has shredded American principles and decency in his quest to gain and maintain power. And his followers are just fine with that. The contrast between this sorriest of generations and the Greatest Generation couldn’t be more stark.
Whereas the Greatest Generation self sacrificed for each other, including the ultimate sacrifice in battle, the Sorriest Generation infected fellow Americans with Covid-19 because they were too selfish to wear a mask.
Whereas integrity to the Greatest Generation was sacred, without it nothing else mattered, the Sorriest Generation both lies and promotes lies, even at the expense of free elections.
Whereas the Greatest Generation showed great humility when they rightfully could have boasted for all that they had achieved, no less than saving our freedom and democracy, the Sorriest Generation publicly brandishes firearms to intimidate.
Most members of the Greatest Generation are no longer with us. The same is true for their core principles in the hearts and minds of tens of millions of Americans. The Greatest Generation gave us a better world. May they rest in peace.