What will they call our generation?
On Dec. 7, 1941 Pearl Harbor was attacked and 2,403 Americans died. Within weeks, thousands of young American men and woman left homes and jobs to join the military. Within months, factories were built or converted to produce goods to support the war effort.
The average American experienced limits on consumer goods and restrictions on many aspects of “normal life.” After four long years the United States won the war. For their ingenuity and sacrifice we refer to those who lived during WWII as The Greatest Generation.
The world is again in crisis, this time because of a pandemic. So far over 60,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. Industry is again being asked to adapt to win this war. Average Americans are again being asked to change their lives to fight an enemy that brings death, not on foreign soil, but in our own neighborhoods. We can see that people are growing weary of following social distancing.
Sometimes being patriotic doesn’t look very exciting. My father was a Pearl Harbor survivor and during WWII he received two commendations. The one he valued most he earned when his battalion was stationed on a South Pacific island where they experienced months of boredom punctuated by periods of aerial assault.
Dad received a commendation for organizing a sports league to help his fellow soldiers cope as the war dragged on. The war against COVID-19 is also going to drag on. To save lives we are going to have to have as much perseverance, self-sacrifice and innovation as the generation that won WWII.
Americans have united to get through tough times before. To my friends partying on the beach ignoring social distancing, we need you to join the fight if we are to win this war. To my family and friends who have lost jobs or missed weddings and graduations, I can’t feel the depth of your sadness, but I do grieve with you. I promise you that after we get through this, we will pick up the pieces together. Life will be good again. You have to wonder, what will they call our generation?
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