WHERE ARE YOU TOM BROKAW?
by Andy Weddington
Tuesday, 08 October 2013
"The Greatest Generation got to save old tires, dig a Victory Garden and forgo sugar. The Richest Generation is being asked to shop." Margaret Carlson
Tom Brokaw, journalist, coined the term "The Greatest Generation" - releasing a book by that title in 1998. I've read the book. And many other books about that breed of American.
With "The Greatest Generation" Mr. Brokaw's reference is to that generation of American who endured the Great Depression and went on to victory in World War II. Mr. Brokaw said it was his belief these men, and women, were the greatest generation any society had ever produced and that they fought for no other reason than it was the right thing to do.
The right thing to do.
Numerous passionate interviews with Mr. Brokaw come to mind. More than a few times through the years I've listened to him tell stories of everyday citizens who answered their country's call and did remarkable things - because those things, mostly terrible, had to be done.
It was the right thing to do.
He told stories of selflessness, sacrifice, courage, bravery, and heroism. And he told stories of love and commitment and heartache.
He told stories about men and women - my generation's grandparents and great uncles and great aunts and other kin, too - who saved the world from evil and then returned home to build America into a powerhouse.
Recently a small cohort of these great Americans, in their 90s and a bit less spry (moving about with canes, walkers, and wheelchairs) than in their battlefield days, journeyed to Washington, D.C. to see their war monument - the national symbol of their sacrifices and tribute to those who died in the cause.
And greeting them, thanks to our not only dysfunctional but idiotic government (the shutdown), were barriers - obstructing access to an open air site.
Adding insult, a Park Ranger was quoted as saying his orders were to make things as difficult as possible for people.
Point fingers wherever but, ultimately, President Barack Obama.
The veterans did visit their monument. In a sense, they stormed the barriers - as they did battle fronts and beachheads 70+ years ago.
But there should have been no call, whatsoever, for them to attack, again, under the air of hostility.
Obstacles emplaced by the government of the country they served?
They deserved the opposite - the treatment extended to royalty.
President Obama - had he an iota of common sense, decency, and leadership ability (and wanting to endear, that is exploit, the public to his side) - should have ordered red carpets waiting. And that those red carpets were lined with wildly cheering flag wavers - led by him, and Congress.
That would have been the right thing to do; even politically (as distasteful as that is to write).
I do not know Tom Brokaw nor his political leanings. Nor do I care. But it's struck me as odd he's been silent on the disrespectful treatment of "The Greatest Generation."
I've not seen Mr. Brokaw on TV; heard him on radio; nor seen anything of him opining in print media. Nothing.
Where are you Tom Brokaw?
Do the right thing - raise holy hell; publicly!
America's next "Greatest Generations" will be the ones who storm The White House and the Capitol and take back control of their country - because it will be the right thing to do. "The Greatest Generation" is owed that much - for their gift to America, and the world.