Much has been written and spoken about this country’s “greatest generation”, whose members were born, approximately, from 1900-1925. Many of this group were individuals whose willingness to personally sacrifice is truly worthy of attention. We can look to their behavior as a model of what should be helpful as our nation confronts many difficult situations at home and abroad.
This was the generation that “grew up” during the Great Depression. They witnessed and experienced directly the hardships that severely burdened a majority of this country’s citizens. Personal exposure to character-forming testing seems to go a long way in explaining the spirit of self-sacrifice that is a hallmark of the greatest generation.
What lessons can we derive from looking back at the life experiences of the greatest generation? Does expecting and requiring service and shared sacrifice of its citizens produce a broad range of benefits for our nation? The answer seems obvious.
Our leaders, prodded if necessary by the voices of ordinary citizens, should look back to see what has worked in the past when our nation confronted grave problems. Isn’t a major part of wisdom learning from past experiences?