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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.
They were all great in their times. Let's not quibble about any who fought for our freedoms. We stand on the shoulders of giants - all!
 

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I'm going to tell my story this way. My Dad was a WW 2 veteran (Anzio up through Italy and was on a troop ship off the coast of Japan on VJ Day). I'm retired Army (Vietnam, Granada, Desert Shield time frames). My son is retired Army, one tour in Iraq. My son-in-law was with the 75th Rangers in Bosnia. My daughters' oldest boy was with the 82nd Airborne and did a tour in Afghanistan. My daughters' youngest boy is currently a medic with the 4th Special Operations Training Brigade.

Sarge
 

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Thank you all for your service and your stories. As a new resident of These United States, the propaganda fed to those of us that don’t live here from outside your borders is upside down. The lies perpetuated about this magnificent country from outside its borders are unreal. I’m here now and I get it. Boy do I get it. I get the patriotic fervour and the respect for the Constitution. This entire thread has moved me in ways I could never previously imagine and for that I am grateful! Thank you.
 

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I think that it is important to consider that the definition of a hero is an ordinary person doing an extraordinary thing. With that in mind I think that each age has it's heroes along with it's not so heroic individuals. It is pretty apparent that tough times can bring out the best and the worst in a given bunch of people.
It is fairly easy to romanticize people of bygone eras as people like to remember the heroes and forget about the gold Bricker's, the feather merchants, and the cowards. And as time goes by the memories of the latter individuals fades away. But be assured that they had them all the way back to the very first war.
Think about your own career, military or not. Everybody has seen this all around them for time immortal. There are those that will stand up and do the right thing in the face of adversity and those who will do whatever it takes to get out of doing that. Thirty four years in the Merchant marines taught me this. It was a rare ship that did not end up with a core of people that would pretty much do everything and everybody else was just there to fill out the manning scale.
But the people that have actually been in mortal combat and lived through it are a group aside. I think that they all remain haunted by it to one degree or another. Even Audie Murphy once said when asked how it felt to have lived through everything that he had. And he said that he was not sure that he really did live through it. He was haunted by it to his untimely death. Just sayin.
 

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The Founding Generation, as The Old Grey Hare so aptly named it, certainly had THEIR divisive times as well, imo. The signing of the Constitution was significantly delayed with the debating over slavery. Not many of the Colonists participated in the actual fighting and dying. Indeed, some were turncoats who betrayed freedom in the pursuit of 'safety' every chance they got.

The "Greatest Generation" got it's name from a news-reader / journalist named Tom Brokaw in a 1998 book called "The Greatest Generation". He felt that way because almost every single WWII combatant had also survived the Great Depression.

My Dad and his brother were 2 of those greatest. They both were raised during the Depression. My Uncle jumped into Normandy early D-Day morn and was captured at that fouled-up mis-drop called St. Mare-Eglise. My Dad joined the Airborne as soon as he was old enough because he wanted to single-handedly rescue his brother.

For the required 2A part of the story, they both told me they got to carry the Thompson sub-machine gun and the M1 Garand at various times during jumps while in the Army. As a kid, THAT fascinated me. The very first gun I ever fired was a Garand when I got my Boy Scout Marksmanship Merit Badge.

There is just 2 of their offspring left - me and my cousin. My cousin was an MP in the Army and spent two tours in the jungle in Nam, was sent INTO Khe Sahn in 1969 when everybody else was being sent out, served again in Desert Storm and also in Iraq war. I served 6 years but mine was entirely peacetime service.

I think the Greatest Generation is aptly named. I wouldn't want to change it. They are gone, but their offspring, my generation, still has plenty of fight in them and will be very willing to show it when in the course of Human Events it becomes necessary.
 

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I look at some of the little twits in the US now in subsequent gens and think these kids are not going to make it, I believe the Millennial and Z gens will lose this country. Soy-boys and wanna be girls or Trans or whatever they have been sold by the left will take them down. I am in Ann Arbor frequently and they are a jacked bunch of disillusioned kids. Most of the young males can’t even grow a beard. I have been going to A2 for years and have never seen so much gender ambiguity before that is so prevalent now. I was sitting at a restaurant downtown recently listening to some of the conversations and we are in trouble with theses gens as a country,

We have allowed the government and educational system to destroy our children and we are going to pay for it. They are absolutely clueless about American history the Fore Fathers, the Greatest Generation, really anything that makes our country unique. I am in the latter part of my life so I may be spared seeing the end of the Republic but it is in melt down as we post here. My Dad and Grandad both fought for this country. I can assure you now they would not put their lives on the line for what this country is rapidly becoming now. I certainly wouldn’t. I just don’t understand why we keep paying for these idiot politicians. You can’t effect change if you keep paying for business as usual. If the working productive half of the country said enough and stopped paying taxes this would bring about change posthaste.
 

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Although I have always loved the "Greatest Generation" concept -- as it includes my father -- I think a lot like one of the initial posters in this thread who remarked that every person that ever put on the uniform of his (and her) country were part of a greatest generation.

Every male in my family (on my father's side at least) as far back as I can trace has worn the uniform of his country and fought in the big wars (my father enlisted late in WW2, was recalled for Korea and my grandfather was wounded twice in World War 1, having fought in some of the most intense ground-fighting in that war -- Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele). Uncles and cousins on my mother's side fought in Viet Nam (other relatives on Mom's side fought for the Finns against both the Russians and the Germans in the Winter War, the Continuation War and the Lapland War).

There's no one "greatest generation." But I have zero problems calling those who served in the Second World War "The Greatest Generation." Although I have mad respect for my forebears who participated in World War 2, I have much love for my family who served in the First World War as well, and as far as those that served during the Viet Nam era --- true patriots who've never really been recognized properly.


I am in Ann Arbor frequently and they are a jacked bunch of disillusioned kids.
Yikes! Don't give up. I was just there for a couple weeks (caught a couple UM home games, family lives there). Don't judge the younger generations based on the silly college kids you observe. The great thing about this country is how our kids always rise up to meet the challenges.
 

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Joe Galloway said it best. The WW2 generation may have been the Greatest Generation, but the guys who volunteered to go to Vietnam were the best of their generation.
 

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Although I have always loved the "Greatest Generation" concept -- as it includes my father -- I think a lot like one of the initial posters in this thread who remarked that every person that ever put on the uniform of his (and her) country were part of a greatest generation.

Every male in my family (on my father's side at least) as far back as I can trace has worn the uniform of his country and fought in the big wars (my father enlisted late in WW2, was recalled for Korea and my grandfather was wounded twice in World War 1, having fought in some of the most intense ground-fighting in that war -- Vimy Ridge and Passchendaele). Uncles and cousins on my mother's side fought in Viet Nam (other relatives on Mom's side fought for the Finns against both the Russians and the Germans in the Winter War, the Continuation War and the Lapland War).

There's no one "greatest generation." But I have zero problems calling those who served in the Second World War "The Greatest Generation." Although I have mad respect for my forebears who participated in World War 2, I have much love for my family who served in the First World War as well, and as far as those that served during the Viet Nam era --- true patriots who've never really been recognized properly.



Yikes! Don't give up. I was just there for a couple weeks (caught a couple UM home games, family lives there). Don't judge the younger generations based on the silly college kids you observe. The great thing about this country is how our kids always rise up to meet the challenges.
Oh, I haven’t given up. My GF works there in research and we discuss all the time what is happening. We attend faculty functions pretty regularly and it is the academia which concerns me even more than the kids. The professional schools certainly are keeping some decorum but the undegrad programs are really murky now I believe intentionally so. It isn’t just this school either it is across the country. We need to get this addressed as a country and demand more from these “higher level” learning institutions. I really think they need to make academics get out in the real world and work before they get to slide into some cushy Prof job on campus. The school has a lot of radicals that have never set foot off the campus. Take a look at where the names of the 60’s radicals were spawned, You will see Ann Arbor right at the top of that list.
 

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I agree with labeling the WWII GIs the greatest generation, but those who served in Vietnam at least deserve an honorable mention. We weren't products of the financial crisis created by the Great Depression, but in many cases, left behind relatively affluent homes and otherwise comfortable lives to serve our country. Ideologically, the Tonkin Resolution was a poor substitute for the galvanizing attack on Pearl Harbor, but the result was the same. Fast forward four years and the return of the GI Bill and I, like many others, returned to school and campuses infested with far-left professors and students who openly encouraged the enemy, their ideological kin, through demonstrations and draft-resistance counseling. To those of us who belonged to the Vet's Club, the scorn of of our classmates made for a stressful learning environment. It didn't end there, because during the entire course of my working career, tolerating these same characters was a burden from which only retirement relieved me. Sadly, many of my far left classmates entered the judiciary, public education, and other careers in which they were enabled to formulate governmental policy and/or corrupt young minds. Returning to campus for a couple of postgrad degrees revealed that at least the Hippies were gone but the far-left orientation of the curriculum was firmly intrenched and illegal drug use was still rampant. Take heart! These are tomorrow's leaders!
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
"Older men declare war, but it is the youth that must fight and die".---Herbert Hoover, 1944.
That wasn't true in the Revolutionary War or the Civil War, but has been ever since for the most part.
 
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My grandpa missed WWII by a year. He joined the Army Air Corps anyway and became a typist :ROFLMAO:, because there wasn't much left to do after the war was over. But he was always the "first responder" type, and he retired a Fire Captain. Greatest indeed (y)
 

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I look at some of the little twits in the US now in subsequent gens and think these kids are not going to make it, I believe the Millennial and Z gens will lose this country. Soy-boys and wanna be girls or Trans or whatever they have been sold by the left will take them down. I am in Ann Arbor frequently and they are a jacked bunch of disillusioned kids. Most of the young males can’t even grow a beard. I have been going to A2 for years and have never seen so much gender ambiguity before that is so prevalent now. I was sitting at a restaurant downtown recently listening to some of the conversations and we are in trouble with theses gens as a country,

We have allowed the government and educational system to destroy our children and we are going to pay for it. They are absolutely clueless about American history the Fore Fathers, the Greatest Generation, really anything that makes our country unique. I am in the latter part of my life so I may be spared seeing the end of the Republic but it is in melt down as we post here. My Dad and Grandad both fought for this country. I can assure you know they would not put their lives on the line for what this country is rapidly becoming now. I certainly wouldn’t. I just don’t understand why we keep paying for these idiot politicians. You can’t effect change if you keep paying for business as usual. If the working productive half of the country said enough and stopped paying taxes this would bring about change posthaste.
I often tell my wife thank God I'll be dead when this current generation finishes destroying the country. I feel bad for my niece and nephews the oldest being only 18 for what they'll have to deal with when they get to be my age. On 9/18 the John Basilone Parade was held in Raritan NJ. I would give $100 to the first 5 current generation "geniuses" who even know who he was and what he did. Of course in this day and age he wouldn't be considered a hero they'd be calling him a murderer.:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 · (Edited)
There are a LOT of good perspectives here in this, and I thank everyone that responded. It really doesn't matter what we call them: The Founding Generation, Greatest Generation, or whatever, everyone in their own time has responded to the call to do right - and for that they are heroes (as someone earlier posted "A hero is someone ordinary that does extraordinary things when the time comes"), which I agree with. In contemporary times we started giving names to the generation that did those things, and so be it. I was thinking of the old and young that fought the Revolutionary war, without good surgical techniques, without anti-biotics, without anesthesia, with muzzleloaders (most of which were not rifled - that came later as far as common usage), cannons, knives, hatchets, swords, and other things we would call "primitive weapons", and built our Republic with our founding documents - quite a unique set of men (and women) in a very difficult time.

My dad and his brother grew up during the Great Depression, so I know what they described as the circumstances, and both of them survived the Dust Bowl of Kansas and Oklahoma in the thirties. They were solid men, just like the founders, in their own time. As far as weapons, they faced more sophisticated weapons than the founders did, but the other side was similarly equipped or in some early phases better equpped.

I have appreciated all the various responses and perspectives here. Thanks!
 

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No doubt that the founding fathers were great leaders. However, when we are talking about the greatest generation it's a "generation". The founding fathers were more than one generation, right?

Fwiw, my father and all of his brothers except for the one that was too young fought in WWII in France/Germany. What they did to survive the depression and fight under the harsh conditions was simply amazing. My father was pretty decorated and wounded several different times. In my dad and his brothers cases, they also were workers that built several of the TVA dams.

It's hard to compare generations though. We have different challenges in each generation.
 

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I have an immense amount of respect for those who served and demonstrated the epitome of heroism and valor in every conflict we, as Americans have been involved with, and I believe the generation before me to have been one of the greatest. But was it not for the “founding generation” would there have been an America as we know it? Anyone to declare independence? Anyone to author a constitution? Anyone to compose a 2nd amendment? What if the Colonists had surrendered?
I think we’d probably be driving on the wrong side of the road, and drinking warm beer.
 

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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.
Those founders- were far better educated than we have been.
 

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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.
Guess which ones are running the show now? I was happy to have avoided (not evaded) the draft in 1966. Instead of being sent to Vietnam, I got to stay home and fully participate in the sex/drugs/rock'n'roll lifestyle that was going on. But none of that ever made me hate my country, or reject or even question its founding principles. I always figured that being a draft-dodger was an automatic disqualifier for running for president, but then Bill Clinton came along ('Remember how both he and Hillary stated -- and demonstrated! -- that they "loathed" the military?). I always figured that hating the country was an automatic disqualifier also, but then Barack Obama came along.

The real culprit is not the insidious, unrelenting, anti-American, Marxist propaganda that is all-pervasive, aided and abetted by our own complicit media establishment ("The 4th Estate has now become the 5th column." -- Michael Savage); no, the real culprit is the deliberate dumbing-down of the American populace by our educational establishment, a process which has been going on for more than a half-century and has resulted in American History and our founding principles no longer being taught, leaving weak minds with a mental vacuum that Marxist propaganda rushes in to fill. A proper education in American History could have presented an insurmountable bulwark against even the kind of propaganda we're seeing today, propaganda that makes Dr. Goebbels seem like a tyro.

This is why we now have even "patriotic" Americans who fail to grasp the distinction between a democracy and a republic, or who think that the Bill of Rights enumerates rights that are "granted" to us by our government. Or, to relate it to firearms, why we have even "patriotic" Americans who think that "weapons of war" have no place in the hands of citizens, or who think that militias are inherently evil, and why even the NRA doesn't really "get" the Second Amendment; consider this excerpt from an essay I wrote not long ago:

I happen to be a Life Member of the NRA. If I have any beef with the NRA, it’s that the organization's positions actually tend to be a bit more liberal than I care for. For example, instead of answering the gun-grabbers' claim that the Second Amendment was never intended to protect citizens’ rights to keep and bear “weapons of war” by arguing that, technically, the AR-15 is not a military weapon, I wish the NRA would take the offensive and educate people that military weapons are precisely the type of arms to which the Second Amendment refers.

This was expressed best by Tench Coxe (1755-1824), one of our lesser-known Founders, a political economist and a delegate from Pennsylvania to the Constitutional Convention.
His remarks about the Right to Keep and Bear Arms are eminently worthy of inclusion in an American History curriculum, if such a curriculum were to ever return to being taught in American public schools (“Gender Studies” and “Drag Queen Story Hour” might have to be jettisoned in order to make room for American History to be taught again).

Firm in his assertion that “the militia” is neither law enforcement nor the military but rather is “ourselves,” and that “The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people,” Coxe added that Congress possessed “no power to disarm the militia,” and that no clause in the federal or state constitution conferred such power.

Nor did Coxe waffle or waver when addressing the question of “just what sort of arms does the Second Amendment protect the citizens’ right to keep and bear?” His response? “Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American.”

So when the NRA mails me one of its "surveys" (really just an excuse to ask me for more money; if I thought shelling out for a Life Membership would offer some respite from the organization’s relentless schnorring, I was mistaken) and asks why I choose to exercise my constitutionally-protected right to keep and bear firearms, I’m presented with multiple choice answers: Hunting; Firearms Collecting; Shooting Sports; Target Practice; Home Defense. Conspicuous in its absence is “Because it is my duty and responsibility as an American citizen to possess the means (and to be competent with those means) to deter or even (should the need arise) to resist tyranny by my own government.”
 
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