Seems Depression, wars were no sacrifice
I was embarrassed to read President Clinton and members of Congress have
said the older generation must learn to sacrifice as other generations
have done. As a Navy veteran and Purple Heart recipient, I knew eventually
someone would ferret out our dirty little secret.
During the Depression, we lived it up by dancing to the tune of "Brother,
Can You Spare a Dime?" Many could choose to dine at one of the country's
fabulous soup kitchens, often joined by parents and siblings.
Then came World War II and our cup was really filled to overflowing. After
cruising the beautiful waters near Hawaii in the big canoe club called the
U.S. Navy, many of us got to see the "great fireworks display" provided by
the Japanese on Dec. 7, 1941. We had a chance to bask on the beaches on
Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. We had the chance to visit the capitals
of Europe and such scenic spots as Bastogne, Normandy and Monte Cassino.
One of the most exhilarating strolls was from Bataan to the famous
Japanese resorts laughingly referred as death camps.
The good times really rolled to those lucky enough to be on the Normandy
beaches on that pleasant day in June 1944. Even luckier were those who won
prize holiday cruises on sleek gray ships to such fun filled spots as
Midway, the Solomons and Murmansk.
Instead of asking "What can you do for your country?" an indulgent
government let us fritter our youths wondering through the lush jungles of
Burma and New Guinea.
Yes, it's all true. We are pampered and spoiled rotten. We never did learn
what sacrifice meant. My generation is old, Mr. President and members of
Congress. Please punish us for failing so that we might learn the true
meaning of Duty, Honor and Country."
Wappingers Falls, NY