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I want to preface this post with a little info about my forebears: I don't know much about beyond my grampa, and nothing about his father or forebears, but his two sons (my dad and his older brother) fought in WWII and Korea, and his brother was in Viet Nam before his retirement at full bird colonel (my dad was a major in the USMC). We have all talked, and it is publicly referred to as "The Greatest Generation" as far as WWII participants. I don't want to take anything away from them here, but I will posit a thought that has occurred to me over the last several months in comparing the various conflicts we, as a country, have been in.

WWII was indeed global and a fight for our survival, with tragic loss on all sides. Same is true for the Civil War, but that was limited to our own borders and our own people for the most part. One could say the valor in the Korean War and Viet Nam War were uncommon, as they were wars we entered into that our objective wasn't to win - just stalemate. While WWI was a terrible conflict for most of Europe, we entered late and didn't suffer the casualties of most other countries involved.

That brings me to my point of this post: The Founding Fathers, the Revolutionary War, signifies to me the greatest generation in our country. Not the generation we are all familiar with in terms of forebears, but what they contributed to our institutions and our way of life. They set the stage for that war with the Decalration of Independence, which lays the groundwork of pushing off and defining tyranny, they committed they lives and fortunes, their kids and marriages, their property and all that they were connected with, on the line for independence from despots, and constructed the Republic which we are charged with protecting (as all their progeny are). They set up the structure of limited government, checks and balances through different branches with different responsibilities and tasks, and gave most of their adult years to building the credibility of this Republic as a nation of people. As far as contributions to our country go, I think they are the Greatest Generation, and I'm pretty sure my dad and uncle would agree.

I will finish with this: my dad was a USMC fighter pilot in WWII in the Pacific, with many unit citations, and a dive-bomber pilot in Korea that got shot down 3 times and still had the cohones to climb back in the cockpit for another mission. My uncle, was a private in North Africa during that campaign, and was promoted to seargent during the invasion of Siciliy on the south beach (many of his fellow soldiers did not survive). When they invaded Italy and pushed north to Anzio, he was a leader who got a battlefield promotion to lieutenant and another Bronze Star. Many unit citations followed, and after WWII and Korea, he transferred to the medical corps and got educated and retrained. During Viet Nam, he directed many field and base hospitals for getting them the right equipment and surgeons, supplies, and whatever else to save as many American lives as possible. More unit citations. I give this service record for reference, as my uncle and dad were my role models, and their service is greatly valued, but I think the most contribution to our country was made by the Founding Fathers and their sacrifices, where many of them were executed when captured, many lost their property and fortunes they worked so hard to build, and many spent their "mature years" serving this country and giving it a chance to grow into something awesome.

What say you guys? Everyone's opinion is welcome and certainly we will have a lot of different perspectives.
 

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Even more amazingly... a lot of them were surprisingly young. Imagine planning a country at the age of 20 or even 30. Yes, George Washington was 44, and Franklin was older, but many of them were not as old as we picture them. To understand what they did about human nature, history, and the rights of man and translate it into useful action, when it had never been done before, is an astounding accomplishment.

There is a reason 'lives fortunes and sacred honor' has been a toast of mine on July 4th for a while.

If only our current crop of leaders had a tenth of their knowledge and fortitude and commitment to citizens' rights.

There are plenty of so called elder statesmen today who think the Bill of rights is something a waiter presents them at a restaurant after their meals.
 

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Love the thought, but this is the General GUN Discussion forum, so you'd better add some gun content.
Maybe how much your dad loved the Ma Deuce? :)
 
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I don't know who gives generations their names. But I like the ring of "The Founding Generation" for those who came here, and for better or worse forged a new nation in blood, sweat and tears -- everyone's blood sweat and tears. The winners, the losers, the natives, the foreigners all mixed it up for a very long time, and the end result is what we're trying to defend now.

The Greatest -- I was raised by them. Due to Reasons, I wasn't raised by my birth parents. Good, decent teenage girls in 1969 simply did not have children. So I was raised by a crazy lady from Puerto Rico.. and her crazy sister, and their crazy four brothers.. each one who was a Depression baby, each one who served in WWII, two pilots, two foot-soldiers. Farmer family, though by the time I was purchased, the farm was gone for 20 years already. But the mentality survived -- the "make-do, can-do" attitude survived the loss of the farm. My adoptive dad was dead by the time I was 5. Heart atttack. Mom never remarried, nor recovered. The men in my formative times were those four WWII vets. And others, from the Korean war, that weren't family, but orbited around it. People they knew.

Someone named them the Greatest. Better than the poor souls who fought WWI -- they're the Lost Generation.

The Founding Generation. If only we could make that a thing.

If only we could reach back in time, and ask them. In a way we can -- they left behind their many thoughts -- both harmonious and conflicting. They left us the Founding Documents, and the discussions of how they got there. And it pains me greatly to see the modern people deem these documents as "offensive." Seeing their statues pulled down is deeply hurtful. Seeing those banners on the website about the Declaration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights... is deeply hurtful. It makes me feel it's not my country. THe country I wrote a check for, like so many of you, for any amount including My Life. No expiration date. I left the usaf, but if called to arms, as broken as I am, I'll still answer in whatever capacity I can.

But what we have today... I don't like it sir, not one bit. I'm an "X". Late X, at that. And I have Millie (Millenial) friends, and Millie co-workers, and some are slackers, and some will work their fingers to the bone for you. I'm sure some would take a bullet -- or dish one out -- for the country. After seeing many kinds of different material about WWII, I realized that even then, in that Greatest Generation, you had the slackers, too. There was a different word for it -- a Goldbrick.

But something has been lost. I consider the Vietnam vets with the same gratitude and empathy as my own adoptive family, who rarely, barely spoke of that war. I know one Army fella, Vietnam vet, who has a Silver Star because he had the presence of mind to bring extra ammo on a patrol. He doesn't talk about it beyond stating that all he did was bring extra ammo on a patrol.

But, is it war what it takes to make a generation great? Is that the only qualification? I think there's more to it. A sense of purpose, of being part of a whole -- and I think that's exactly what has been robbed us, with Identity Politics. We are not a whole country anymore. E Pluribus Umum Unum has been replaced, seemingly with the exact opposite. We've gone from "Ask what you can do for your Country" to exactly the opposite "What can the country do for ME?" A rather selfish inversion. When did this happen? I was raised by the Greatest, in the shadows of the Kennedy thing, during the Nixon, Carter and Reagan days. I joined the world in the Bush and Clinton era. I wasn't raised with this.. inverted philosophy. I was raised to take care of your family, and then help the others out. But now it's all "me me ME!"

We're fractured. And Old Abe Lincoln said a house divided cannot stand. He may well be right.

We need to find something to unite over, and mend this country. It's been fractured along racial and "gender" lines, and artificially so. This is deliberate, engineered. Fake. But with very real effect.

Again.. it is deeply hurtful to see those statues of our founders pulled down, as if they were dictatorial riffraff in some faraway country. Our youth has been led astray. I can't claim part of it, I have no offspring.. but all of America that does.. what happened? How did we get here?

Was it 9/11?

Was it Obama?

Sorry if I've derailed the topic, but I am very much aghast at what has happened. When I see old film -- of unrelated stuff -- maybe old Bell System films -- you see the Old America of the 70's. And as bad as it seems now, why does that era seem more.. cooperative? More united? More cohesive?

I chose my avatar and name here very carefully. Yeah it's the silly rabbit, and there's a fair bit of that Karmic Trickster in me -- but note the uniform he wears. That's from Bunker Hill Bunny. An affectionate parody of one of the first actions of our Revolution. I don't know my real family tree, but somehow I know I should be wearing that blue coat, when the time comes. Figuratively speaking, of course.

I would take one for this country, back in 1989 when I signed that blank check -- and even today -- despite America being in rather sorry trim these days. We can't say how we'd react to a given situation until placed in it -- but I'd like to think I'd try my best to help push the country forwards -- and not let it splinter.. like it seems to be doing today.

To Grandpas50AE, sorry for potentially derailing your thread. Too many thoughts, all at once come rushing out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Love the thought, but this is the General GUN Discussion forum, so you'd better add some gun content.
Maybe how much your dad loved the Ma Deuce? :)
My dad definitely loved the Ma Deuces on the wings of his aircraft; the 30 cal's not so much. The fighter and bomber planes progressed rapidly from 30 cal. in the WWI era to the larger caliber in WWII era (both sides), and my dad, along with his flying squadron and so many others, held special appreciation for those Ma Deuces. I would imagine my uncle valued them as much as he progressed toward Germany and Berlin in the infantry. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I don't know who gives generations their names. But I like the ring of "The Founding Generation" for those who came here, and for better or worse forged a new nation in blood, sweat and tears -- everyone's blood sweat and tears. The winners, the losers, the natives, the foreigners all mixed it up for a very long time, and the end result is what we're trying to defend now.

The Greatest -- I was raised by them. Due to Reasons, I wasn't raised by my birth parents. Good, decent teenage girls in 1969 simply did not have children. So I was raised by a crazy lady from Puerto Rico.. and her crazy sister, and their crazy four brothers.. each one who was a Depression baby, each one who served in WWII, two pilots, two foot-soldiers. Farmer family, though by the time I was purchased, the farm was gone for 20 years already. But the mentality survived -- the "make-do, can-do" attitude survived the loss of the farm. My adoptive dad was dead by the time I was 5. Heart atttack. Mom never remarried, nor recovered. The men in my formative times were those four WWII vets. And others, from the Korean war, that weren't family, but orbited around it. People they knew.

Someone named them the Greatest. Better than the poor souls who fought WWI -- they're the Lost Generation.

The Founding Generation. If only we could make that a thing.

If only we could reach back in time, and ask them. In a way we can -- they left behind their many thoughts -- both harmonious and conflicting. They left us the Founding Documents, and the discussions of how they got there. And it pains me greatly to see the modern people deem these documents as "offensive." Seeing their statues pulled down is deeply hurtful. Seeing those banners on the website about the Declaration, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights... is deeply hurtful. It makes me feel it's not my country. THe country I wrote a check for, like so many of you, for any amount including My Life. No expiration date. I left the usaf, but if called to arms, as broken as I am, I'll still answer in whatever capacity I can.

But what we have today... I don't like it sir, not one bit. I'm an "X". Late X, at that. And I have Millie (Millenial) friends, and Millie co-workers, and some are slackers, and some will work their fingers to the bone for you. I'm sure some would take a bullet -- or dish one out -- for the country. After seeing many kinds of different material about WWII, I realized that even then, in that Greatest Generation, you had the slackers, too. There was a different word for it -- a Goldbrick.

But something has been lost. I consider the Vietnam vets with the same gratitude and empathy as my own adoptive family, who rarely, barely spoke of that war. I know one Army fella, Vietnam vet, who has a Silver Star because he had the presence of mind to bring extra ammo on a patrol. He doesn't talk about it beyond stating that all he did was bring extra ammo on a patrol.

But, is it war what it takes to make a generation great? Is that the only qualification? I think there's more to it. A sense of purpose, of being part of a whole -- and I think that's exactly what has been robbed us, with Identity Politics. We are not a whole country anymore. E Pluribus Umum Unum has been replaced, seemingly with the exact opposite. We've gone from "Ask what you can do for your Country" to exactly the opposite "What can the country do for ME?" A rather selfish inversion. When did this happen? I was raised by the Greatest, in the shadows of the Kennedy thing, during the Nixon, Carter and Reagan days. I joined the world in the Bush and Clinton era. I wasn't raised with this.. inverted philosophy. I was raised to take care of your family, and then help the others out. But now it's all "me me ME!"

We're fractured. And Old Abe Lincoln said a house divided cannot stand. He may well be right.

We need to find something to unite over, and mend this country. It's been fractured along racial and "gender" lines, and artificially so. This is deliberate, engineered. Fake. But with very real effect.

Again.. it is deeply hurtful to see those statues of our founders pulled down, as if they were dictatorial riffraff in some faraway country. Our youth has been led astray. I can't claim part of it, I have no offspring.. but all of America that does.. what happened? How did we get here?

Was it 9/11?

Was it Obama?

Sorry if I've derailed the topic, but I am very much aghast at what has happened. When I see old film -- of unrelated stuff -- maybe old Bell System films -- you see the Old America of the 70's. And as bad as it seems now, why does that era seem more.. cooperative? More united? More cohesive?

I chose my avatar and name here very carefully. Yeah it's the silly rabbit, and there's a fair bit of that Karmic Trickster in me -- but note the uniform he wears. That's from Bunker Hill Bunny. An affectionate parody of one of the first actions of our Revolution. I don't know my real family tree, but somehow I know I should be wearing that blue coat, when the time comes. Figuratively speaking, of course.

I would take one for this country, back in 1989 when I signed that blank check -- and even today -- despite America being in rather sorry trim these days. We can't say how we'd react to a given situation until placed in it -- but I'd like to think I'd try my best to help push the country forwards -- and not let it splinter.. like it seems to be doing today.

To Grandpas50AE, sorry for potentially derailing your thread. Too many thoughts, all at once come rushing out.
I do not consider your post as derailing at all. I asked for thoughts, and you gave them unabashedly - kudos for that. I signed that blank check in 1971, and still consider my oath binding. The division in this country started before Viet Nam, long before. Thank goodness, our men in uniform, armed with what we pay for them to have, still serve our country so far. I first noticed the division and rebellious attitude in the 60's when I was a teen, and it has only progressed since then.

Some of the arms we have given our service members have been great ones (like 1911's), and some mediocre at best. JMB was a true genius for things mechanical that go bang that so many of the past few generations have been fortunate to have.
 

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Then there came the generation who waited 50 years for a “thank you”. :cautious:
Agreed. My generation (Viet Nam) was spit on when we came back from overseas, whether we were sent to Nam or other places in Asia. I didn't need, or expect, any thank you - I was happy to serve, but I appreciate the folks that stop to say it regardless, for their courtesy.
 

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I think Vietnam was when we first saw the ideological rift between patriotic, hard-working Americans and privileged, spoiled young brats who pretended to be disillusioned with the American Experience. Guess which ones served in 'Nam and which ones spat on them.
 

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My father served in the Pacific, below decks, as a Machinist Mate/Boilerman on a Fletcher Class destroyer. I cannot even imagine what he went through. His Destroyer was one of the first Magic Carpets to ferry troops home. His hard-earned attitudes regarding what a man is and what firearms are intended for are ingrained into my being. He never owned a Browning shotgun, just Mossbergs and Remingtons. Until the 1960s he never owned a pistol chambered in anything more powerful than a .22 LR. Yet he taught me the basics. I consider those of his generation the "greatest". Maybe that's why I own so many "working man's weapons".

Grumpy
 

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JMB was a true genius for things mechanical that go bang that so many of the past few generations have been fortunate to have.
His reach extends so far beyond the 1911. To me, that was the pistol that introduced me to the man. And then I learned about the dozens other things he designed, sometimes bearing his name, most times bearing others' names. I'd never associate him with the ancient dispenser of 12GA justice, but there he is.. and with some of the later Winchester lever guns.. but there he is again.. he's everywhere. Ma Deuce. The .30. The rounds themselves -- the .50 BMG is his, the .45 ACP, the .32 ACP too if i'm not mistaken.. Browning really is all over the firearms landscape.

When my "spidey sense" told me to arm up, a 1911 quickly found its way into my safe. And a Garand, too -- tho not a Browning design, it definitely was the instrument of the Greatest Generation. The greatest hunting gun ever devised. Mine won't tell me what it hunted... but we all know. We all know what it hunted. Something told me these two were the instruments to have, when weak men made for hard times.

Then there came the generation who waited 50 years for a “thank you”. :cautious:
When I joined the USAF in '89, it was just 20 years after that. We were given classroom time about it. It was there, really, that I learned the extent of the hatred so many felt against you and your brothers in arms. I wasn't around to see that one first-hand, only through media -- and media presented a distorted view. When I saw in the USAF classes what you guys went through.. well, I think it was a uniform thought in that classroom "This will never happen again, we won't let it happen again." Thank you.

The only media I've seen that perhaps comes close to the truth of what you guys suffered is Ken Burn's doc "The Vietnam War." Honestly, that one re-oriented me a bit, politically. It was a bit of a jarring experience to watch it. I saw it three times, from head to tail.

That fella I know with the Silver Star -- he rattled me, too. He owns a boat down here, and he just drives around with it.. and something about the way he stands on it, the way his head's constantly on a swivel,. even in his own home. I really like him. He's had me over for Christmas a time or two. Him and his wife are some of the warmest, most welcoming people I know. Far from the monsters the media made those soldiers out to be.

I think Vietnam was when we first saw the ideological rift between patriotic, hard-working Americans and privileged, spoiled young brats who pretended to be disillusioned with the American Experience. Guess which ones served in 'Nam and which ones spat on them.
I missed it. And all I knew until I got "out there" was what the media showed.

But OP himself mentions this divide grew from even earlier than that.. those privileged brats learned it somwhere, and those college profs had to be from that bunch that came over here from Germany in the 30's when things got Too Hot over there. I think 1930's is when that ideology came here. I may be wrong, but that's just what I feel, after learning what little I know about this subject.

Those privileged brat's kids are the ones running the show now. Running the schools, and holding a lot of offices. Some of them are actual kids of actual radicals, bad ones from back then.

It follows, then, that the sons and daughters of those who fought in Vietnam will challange them. It already is happening, and I wish them all the best.

The Greatest Generation. They instilled in me the love of country, the sense of work for the things you want.. the sense of it being abhorrent to have to be on the dole. They're all dead now, for various reasons.. some related to that war, some of just plain old age.. but the lessons they taught me still live.

And what have the Vietnam era protestors given us?

A banner. On the Constitution. Telling me it's insensitive and racist.

Flash-boils my blood. I love that meme that got posted up earlier -- Hard TImes Make Strong men, etc. It is a cycle, a never ending cycle -- and I may be a wild-eyed idealist, not too unlike those protestors, but in the opposite direction -- I think we can arrest this slide we're in, and Straighten Up and Fly Right.

I don't think it impossible. Just merely difficult..
 

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We will never really know the general mentality of people in the times before film and radio. What we do know is when the threat of war reached the United States, there was a falling in line of every man, woman, and child to do their part to stop the Axis powers. Guys committing suicide because they were deemed unfit for service. Kids lying about their age to sign up. Not to mention, fighting in a war where weaponry was unlike anything ever seen before. Wars of the past seemed to have some degree of civility, this war was one of mass carnage. Human lives being spent at an unprecedented rate. 50 million people perished, the greatest conflict of human history.

i think every generation has people who rise to the occasion of pressing matters. Perhaps they are all equally great, in their own ways.
 
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