It was Tom Brokaw, the retired nightly news anchor, who coined the term, The Greatest Generation, which was the title of his popular book about the Americans that grew up during the depression and fought valiantly in World War II “not for the fame and recognition, but because it was the right thing to do.” The wars since then—Korea, Viet Nam, Iraq I, Iraq II, and Afghanistan—lack the moral clarity and consensus that existed back then.
My dad served on a destroyer, the USS Caperton, in the Pacific fleet that survived Kamikaze attacks and patrolled Tokyo harbor during the peace treaty ceremony aboard the USS Missouri. He recently visited the WWII memorial in Washington D.C. in the company of my sister, Susan. They were part of the “Honor Flight” program, which quotes Will Rogers, “We can’t all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.”
Thanks to Pam Spaulding’s blog, Pam’s House Blend, I post a video of another WWII hero from the Allied effort in Europe, and he asks the poignant question, “what do you think I fought for in Omaha Beach?” Listen to his answer.