Love or loathe the man, former President George H.W. Bush was a member of the greatest generation – and his passing publicly reminds the nation of their dwindling presence. They were the ones who fought and won against the greatest enemy to freedom the annals of time may remember. And now these men and women, who comprise a living history of duty, honor, and love for country, are in their 90s and passing on.
Some fear the Republic they each sacrificed so much to protect is dying with them.
According to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs statistics, just 496,777 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are alive in 2018. They’re now dying at an average rate of 348 each day.
Friend or Foe United in Freedom
December 7, 1941, a day that “will live in infamy.” Its anniversary has people across the heartland remembering these Americans with grace, humor, and, at times, unabashed astonishment for the feats they pulled off for the United States and her allies.
On the radar is Senator Bob Dole, a man from Russell, Kansas who served in the Army overseas in 1945, where he was severely wounded, as writer Lee Sandlin recalls:
“Dole was badly wounded by German machine gun fire, being hit in his upper back and right arm … when fellow soldiers saw the extent of his injuries, all they thought they could do was to give him the largest dose of morphine they dared and write an ‘M’ for ‘morphine’ on his forehead in his own blood, so that nobody else who found him would give him a second, fatal dose.”
This man was not a sissified snowflake.
He survived and devoted the next four decades of his life in service to the people of Kansas and the United States, as a state congressman and senator, and offered himself as president against Bill Clinton in 1996. Imagine how different the world might’ve been had he succeeded.
Dole and H.W. Bush were often allies, but at other times, theirs was a political rivalry for the ages. Any such enmity ended casket-side, however, as Dole, with some help, stood from his wheelchair and issued one final salute.
Jenny Fontana of Illinois offered: “That is a class act. Some people need to learn what class is. Thank you for your service Mr. Dole & Mr. Bush. I have NEVER taken my freedom for granted.”
And Judy Ross of Wichita, Kansas summed it up nicely. “God bless this older generation who understand and embrace the meaning of leadership and giving of one’s self in love of our country.” And of course, Yulonda Page Donnell was less delicate, as she stated, “Some of those POS crybaby snowflake football players could take a lesson from this honorable man!!!!”
The Generation that Kneels
Their generation of men and women held values for God, country, and family, did what was expected and beyond, took personal responsibility, and remained humble in achievements. As broadcast journalist and author of the book, The Greatest Generation, Tom Brokaw, observed:
“There’s no more telling metaphor than a guy in a football game who does what’s expected of him – makes an open-field tackle – then gets up and dances around. When Jerry Kramer threw the block that won the Ice Bowl in ’67, he just got up and walked off the field.”
The likes of Colin Kaepernick have no place in the presence of this generation. And as Mike Rutter of Minneapolis shared a meme of the two war heroes, one laid to rest, and one left struggling to salute him, he shared this message: “When a 95-year old war hero uses every ounce of strength he has and needs help to stand and salute his war hero friend at his casket. This is why we don’t take a knee during the National Anthem.”
Exactly. This generation would only kneel for their God.