The Greatest Generation?

Thornbird

Forum Admin
Phoenix, Arizona
I recently read an article criticizing the millennials concerning the Corona virus and how they need to step it up to protect the greatest generation who are now older and more susceptible to the disease. This got me thinking about that term "greatest generation" and if that's actually warranted. Essentially this term is given to them because of WWII and their courageous actions taken during that conflict but under closer examination I believe we could actually critique them in this regards.

It helps that this was a time when there was a definitive good side and bad side with the enemy's tanks or ships in one spot and ours in another and it made for some very clear and epic conflicts but this has nothing to do with the actual generation but with the technology of the time. Are we to suppose that any other generation wouldn't have fought the war in the same way? I don't think any war has had a lack of courageous people fighting in it, only that how the wars have been fought has changed.

A second point about WWII is that this greatest generation adopted a policy of mass killings of civilians with actions such as fire bombing civilians to obtain the most deaths, a policy we have since considered barbaric and have switched from. Obviously this helps ends wars quicker as we have noticed with our protracted wars since that time but we no longer consider the mass slaughter of innocent people as a reasonable way to fight a battle. The greatest generation did.

We can also look at more domestic areas and how the greatest generation performed. On ecology and the environment they were absolutely horrible. Clear-cutting forests, strip mining the land, using rivers and the oceans to dump their toxic industrial waste...the list is almost endless of the violations this generation caused. Many people, of course, will argue that they didn't know what the effects of all that were back then but that is disingenuous at best. We had worked the land for a very long time and knew what effects this would have, there are reports from back then detailing it and it doesn't take an in-depth knowledge to know that chemicals you are dumping in a river, that are toxic to humans, is not going to end well.

Business practices were also horrible and the excess of business and the stock market traders was a big factor that led to the crash of '29 which contributed to the world going into a tailspin and ultimately gave Hitler the ability to rise to power. On top of all this you have the horrible racial practices, terrible treatment of women and all groups that were not white males at the time. All things that the people knew were wrong yet people excuse this away by saying, "well that's just the way it was back then". This is simply not the case because many people were aware of these problems back then and were actively fighting against it.

So when we look at a statue of four guys raising an American Flag and call them The Greatest Generation I think we should take a moment to consider that statement and maybe say they were one of the worst.
 
Southern California
They were the greatest generation because they sacrificed everything to keep freedom alive in the world. They were the greatest generation because they came home from war, went to work and raised families. Every generation of every people will do things that in hindsight look wrong.

Take the 18 year old boy that fought in WWII battles and came back scarred and broken. He put his life together, married his sweetheart and raised five kids.

Today he will come back from war a drug addict. He can't hold a job. He beats his wife until she hides from fear. Then He will put on a dress and some lipstick and demand entry to the battered women's shelter. The generations today could never fight that war. They want drugs to pickle their minds and will sell their girlfriends to get it. Frequently They do. They can't sell their children because these guys didn't hang around long enough to know who spawned with the baby mama.

Look around. Do you know any man that is capable of sailing off in a leaky wooden boat to tame a continent? Who would walk out the door into the wilderness and build a city. The men of today are weak, fearful, scuttling creatures whose idea of bravery is to wear their mother's underwear and call themselves Doris. They have no courage, no bravery and certainly no character.

Not only was the greatest generation the greatest but they will never be replicated.
 

Thornbird

Forum Admin
Phoenix, Arizona
What about the firemen that rushed into the World Trade Center or the astronauts that go up to explore space?

I think you are generalizing.

And I think you've forgotten that Patton got in trouble for slapping a couple guys who were to sissy to stand up and fight.
 
Southern California
What about the firemen that rushed into the World Trade Center or the astronauts that go up to explore space?

I think you are generalizing.

And I think you've forgotten that Patton got in trouble for slapping a couple guys who were to sissy to stand up and fight.
Patton did the honorable thing.

There are still men left just damn few of them.
 
orbiting earth
the kids that were thrust into wwII would be the 'greastest' gen, the leadership (whom made the draconian decisions to carpet bomb innocents) were a different generation & could be considered one of the worst gens...
 
New Haven, CT
the kids that were thrust into wwII would be the 'greastest' gen, the leadership (whom made the draconian decisions to carpet bomb innocents) were a different generation & could be considered one of the worst gens...
"The kids that were thrust into WWII" were also the generation that put minorities in America in concentration camps, encouraged racial inequity with Jim Crow laws, kept women in second class positions in life, jailed and killed homosexuals, made the first inroads into destroying the environment, among other unpleasant facts of life.

Being thrust into a war doesn't make any generation greater than another.
 
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