Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Generational Character

In his speech at Fort Hood yesterday, President Obama said this,

But as we honor the many generations who have served, all of us — every single American — must acknowledge that this generation has more than proved itself the equal of those who’ve come before.

I cannot let that go unchallenged.

A generation does not consist of the 1% who put on the uniform and go off to war, and this war effort is the exclusive province of that one percent. The people of this nation are not even contributing the taxes to pay for this war; they are cheering from the sidelines and putting magnets on their cars.

My parents’ generation held drives to collect materials that were in short supply, they held rallies to sell war bonds, they practiced civil defense drills, they formed lines at enlistment centers and signed up faster than the services could train them. Factories that produced civilian goods were converted to making war machines, and they were staffed by the women who sent their husbands off to war. People put their cars up on blocks, took the tires off, drained the gas tanks and contributed those tires and gas to the war effort.

Not to denigrate what our soldiers do today, but to compare four hundred thousand lives lost in combat so brutal that it was carried out walking on the corpses of fallen comrades, fighting on in the face of massive fire and carrying the day, fought not for twelve-month tours but for the duration of the war, to the way combat is done today is an insult to the soldiers of my father’s generation.

And to compare the national character of then to a people today cowering in foxholes, quivering in fear of terrorists and whining for daddy government to keep them safe at any cost is simply sickening.

1 comment:

bruce said...

BO might have meant this generation of soldiers.

And I don't know how many people are "cowering in foxholes, etc etc" - I am not. But then, I often think I'm smarter than most.

But the gist of the total effort put out by the nation as a whole was total in WWII and very small today. Your point is well taken.

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