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Old 01-07-2019, 08:04 PM
 
Location: mancos
7,075 posts, read 6,264,815 times
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Growing up I can't remember a single parent grandparent or uncle who did not serve.All were productive decent members of their communities and towns.I have no desire to pick apart their past to justify me being a spoiled idiot.May they rest in peace.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:23 PM
 
18,718 posts, read 10,266,894 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Seems a bit convenient, Ralph. When it is a positive accomplishment launched by someone outside of that generation, you credit that generation for the execution. When they execute something negative launched by someone outside that generation, you blame the outsider. That doesn't seem very fair minded of you.
The integration of the military was, ultimately, and act by the military generation of that moment, not by a short-term president. Truman did not integrate the military, the military ultimately integrated the military (and, in fact, it was military leaders who pushed for the president to do by executive order what Congress would never have done by legislation). It's rather a different situation in that military "generations" are short and racism in the military has always mitigated to some extent by the meritocracy of combat.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:33 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
6,880 posts, read 9,540,701 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwatted Wabbit View Post
I believe Tom Brokaw fired up the "Greatest Generation" title for his TV specials and to sell books.

FWIW I didn't agree with his title, and if Brokaw knew or cared anything about history vs. selling books, he would not have used that title. The WWII was a great generation, but not the greatest.

IMO the Greatest Generation is the first, our Founders. FDR was not Washington, Ike was not Washington, Dulles was not Jefferson or Adams, ditto Truman. That war of independence was a gigantic eight-year effort.

And no, I doubt modern generations could equal that effort or the WWII effort. Patriotism is not taught in schools or colleges, the education establishment as a whole is radical anti-American, and generations have been brainwashed to look down on the USA and Western Civilization. I'm sure there are millions today who would welcome Hitler, Tojo, or Stalin with open arms, thinking their societies are morally superior to ours.

It's not that they don't know anything. It's just that so much of what they know is wrong.
When you think about it, how many of the "Greatest Generation" both served and saw actual combat?

Right off the bat, the great majority of women, or roughly 50% of the greatest generation saw no actual combat at all. As for the men, how many served in the armed forces and served in the front lines? You can see that considerably less then 50% of the greatest generation actually deserve the title at all. The biggest thing of course is that they all waited on the sidelines while German and Japanese armies overran the cities of Europe and Asia until they had to fight.

I realize I am being negative but it only because of the word "greatest", which in my opinion is a claim that does not and cannot hold up. I think you say it best - "The WWII was a great generation, but not the greatest".
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Old 01-07-2019, 11:48 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
37,954 posts, read 17,788,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Truman did not integrate the military, the military ultimately integrated the military.
The military had no plans in the works to desegregate itself, a presidential order from their commander in chief was required to put the process in motion. You are crediting people who obeyed orders because they had no choice but to obey. President Truman certainly did integrate the military. What you are saying is akin to insisting that Lincoln didn't free the slaves, the Union army did. Harry did a good thing and deserves credit for it.
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Old Yesterday, 12:09 AM
 
Location: The place where the road & the sky collide
20,956 posts, read 26,176,825 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
The military had no plans in the works to desegregate itself, a presidential order from their commander in chief was required to put the process in motion. You are crediting people who obeyed orders because they had no choice but to obey. President Truman certainly did integrate the military. What you are saying is akin to insisting that Lincoln didn't free the slaves, the Union army did. Harry did a good thing and deserves credit for it.
Most big movements in this country are multigenerational, as I already pointed out.

Really, it was just a book title. They were originally called the Depression kids. That's who they really were.

For instance, my father was on a first name basis with the local cobbler. The cobbler was called the shoe repair man by then. After my father's shoes were repaired dozens of times they were relegated to yardwork and then replaced. Almost all of my friends' fathers did the same.
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Old Yesterday, 12:46 AM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
11,600 posts, read 7,010,198 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by parfleche View Post
Growing up I can't remember a single parent grandparent or uncle who did not serve. All were productive decent members of their communities and towns. I have no desire to pick apart their past to justify me being a spoiled idiot May they rest in peace.
Whether you call them the "greatest" or the "GI" generation, people born between, roughly 1918 -1935 had a rough road to travel (although "pop culture" paints a distorted picture of the Great Depression -- which didn't intensify until two years after the 1929 Crash, and lingered for over two years after the supposed "Hundred Days miracle" of 1933).

And the necessity of confronting totalitarianism -- Marxist and Fascist -- meant that their lives, and those of the "Silent", or "War Baby" generation, and the Baby Boomers who followed them, were interrupted by an "obligation" -- justifiable or not, to Big Brother and a "social contract" with an ever-expanding bureaucratic state; in short, the Greatest Generation had an incentive to think like a Statist Generation.

My parents were caught up in this; my Dad was a draftee undergoing intensified infantry training for the invasion of the Japanese home islands, at the time the first use of the atomic bomb spared him, so it's not my place to sit in judgement. My Mom was one of seven children raised (with help from unmarried relatives) on a forge tender's paycheck. I can only point out that their experience paved the way for the unprecedented prosperity of post-War American economic dominance, and the spread of that prosperity among a growing number of tested democracies.

Somehow, it all worked out for the better, but no posing politician should try to claim the credit.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; Yesterday at 01:47 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Norfolk
1,770 posts, read 2,066,010 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandstander View Post
Something else to keep in mind about this generation, they were racists and they fought the war as racists. Blacks were segregated into their own units, and the Japanese people were portrayed as bucked toothed, glasses wearing monsters in the propaganda.

How old are you? Just curious. I don't think our country will ever win another war because we're too politically correct.

Racist? Really? It was war propaganda. Have you looked at war propaganda from other wars? To energize young men to be able to stick a bayonet through someone else's chest, you have to create an enemy. Stories of "the evil enemy" circulating throughout society are as old as humanity itself.

This post just blows me away. You're not speaking German right now because of what "The Greatest Generation" did in the 1940s. My parents went through some terrifying times and their young adulthood was called "The Lost Youth" because they went from high school to war.
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Old Yesterday, 08:03 AM
 
8,571 posts, read 8,791,135 times
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Originally Posted by RosemaryT View Post
How old are you? Just curious. I don't think our country will ever win another war because we're too politically correct.

Racist? Really? It was war propaganda. Have you looked at war propaganda from other wars? To energize young men to be able to stick a bayonet through someone else's chest, you have to create an enemy. Stories of "the evil enemy" circulating throughout society are as old as humanity itself.

This post just blows me away. You're not speaking German right now because of what "The Greatest Generation" did in the 1940s. My parents went through some terrifying times and their young adulthood was called "The Lost Youth" because they went from high school to war.
Grandstander is an excellent poster and I enjoy reading almost every post he makes. However, he does mischaracterize many people in my parent's generation.

Its difficult to explain the transformation that occurred in America because of World War II to young people. In many ways, it marked the entrance of America (and much of the world) into a modern era. There was no television before World War II. There were no super highways. Most travel occurred by train and passenger air travel had just really begun in the 1930's. The news networks were forming, but there was no coverage of events like there is today.

Prior to the war most people grew up in a community and did not venture far from it. I doubt there was the same concept of the nation that exists today. When my father was born, he had no greater idea than to stay in his small Idaho town, marry, have a family, and make whatever living he could there. There were virtually no black people or people of color in his community. He had no concept of how most people in the country lived.

The war took millions of people out of communities all around this country and mixed them together. Suddenly, there became an awareness that an entire nation existed out there.

In the case of civil rights, I note that within the twenty years following World War II almost all major actions that guaranteed civil rights took place. Whether it be desegregating the armed services, Brown v. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 it all fell within that period. I suspect without the war it would have been a much slower process.

I think there is something about fighting a war on that scale and having to confront the inevitable truths about the country you are fighting for. Those truths were awfully ugly. For example, my mother who served as a Navy nurse noted on multiple occasions to me that the Red Cross segregated the blood of white people from African Americans. Pre-war America was a place of racism, discrimination, and injustice. Many veterans who returned from the war resolved that it must become a better place. Gradually, it did.

Young people look at the past today and wonder how America could have been the country it was before the war. Much of the answer simply lies in ignorance, lack of awareness, and poor communication.

Last edited by markg91359; Yesterday at 08:13 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
37,954 posts, read 17,788,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosemaryT View Post

Racist? Really? It was war propaganda. Have you looked at war propaganda from other wars? To energize young men to be able to stick a bayonet through someone else's chest, you have to create an enemy. Stories of "the evil enemy" circulating throughout society are as old as humanity itself.
.
My idea that the Pacific War was essentially a racist war, hinges on more than the propaganda. I explained it in my post. Both sides were racist, both sides viewed the opposition as racially inferior.
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Old Yesterday, 08:21 AM
 
858 posts, read 539,624 times
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When I think about the Greatest Generation, I think of one shaped by major historical events not experienced on that scale by any subsequent generations. Their formative years were shaped by the Great Depression, their young adult years by WWII, their adult years by unprecedented prosperity, fueled by a post-war world and major innovations across multiple fields.

As has been mentioned, the periods they lived through, experienced, and helped shaped saw tumultuous changes to the US socially, economically, politically, which reverberates today.

Experiencing the Great Depression during their formative years was a defining factor in shaping most of this generation. When the baseline for normal for the majority is set just above survival level, it can set lifelong patterns of behavior and values such as frugality, tremendous work ethic, innovation, and self-sacrifice.
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