Memorial Day is devoted to honor the men and women who have served to defend and protect this great country near and abroad. Each one, living or passed, has sacrificed to allow you and me to enjoy the freedoms often taken for granted. They each have a story to tell … stories of courage, heroism, triumph and tribulation. The Greatest Generation, those who grew up during the Great Depression and fought World War II, is the generation of my parents and one I’m most familiar with.
Almost 1,000 members of the Greatest Generation pass away everyday. Of the almost 1.5 million who served in World War II, only about half a million are still living. When they are no longer with us, where will we hear their stories of what it was like in that day and age? Where will we learn the history of a different time and place in our nation’s history? Today our culture seems intent to erase history that’s deemed offensive. It’s hard for me to understand … how do we learn from our past and avoid making the same mistakes if we erase it from existence?
Before television and way before the internet and iPhones, families shared something called dinner and would spend evenings as a family in the living room. Multiple generations would live under one roof. Children would beg to hear stories from grandparents of their childhood experiences. Nowadays families live across continents or around the world and connection is by phone or text.
I remember my parents and grandparents’ stories of hard work and struggles to live through the Great Depression, finding work, putting food on the table. I remember the sacrifices made by my father to start his own business when most others were closing their doors. I have those stories in my memory … I just need another generation to tell them to.
History is in the making each and every day we live. Share the stories you heard as a child. Share the wonder and magic of your family history. Share your heartaches and victories. The next generation will benefit and will hopefully continue the tradition.
I hope you’ll share with someone this week.