Monday, May 29, 2006

brick and mortar

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Here is the brick and mortar of our communities. These two people, many more like them, and everything they represent make up the foundation for a strong community. "Honest, hard-working people", a phrase that has been used to the point that it becomes meaningless. But it's a phrase that deserves some thought and reflection.

Honest, hard-working people are the strength and security that allow communities to grow and thrive. They are good neighbors who volunteer their efforts, both in formal and informal ways. People you can trust, people you can respect.

Pictured here are local residents Marge and husband Norm. They're part of that group that Tom Brokaw dubbed, "The Greatest Generation." They were children of the depression who had no concept of instant gratification, whose small luxuries were hard won by effort and made meaningful by their deprivations.

They were grandchildren of civil war veterans and their fathers had fought in World War I. Most were young marrieds when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Life had never been easy, and once again it seemed they couldn't catch a break. They went from the frying pan of the depression into the fire of World War II. The young husbands and fathers enlisted in the fight and the women were left to do what women do.......organize, work hard, stay on task and facilitate the universe.

The women filled the manufacturing plants and heavy industry in the absence of their men. The grandmothers tended their children, happy to maintain the traditional at-home role to which they were more accustomed.

The men returned and the younger ones were called again to serve in Korea, my father fell into this group. Perhaps because of their austere upbringing, and the fact that they never developed entitlement attitudes, they never grumbled about their service or the difficulties it imposed upon them.

Today I remember all those who have served our country, with a special nod to the "Greatest Generation."

8 comments:

srp said...

My uncle served in Korea. This weekend we go to Southern Illinois to help he and my aunt celebrate 50 years of marriage.
Happy Memorial Day.

Anonymous said...

adding to your nod...This generation also sent their sons to Vietnam, endured the energy crisis of the 70's, held up through more recessions,(paid very high interest rates) than any other generation and watched their grandchildren go off to Iraq.I could go on, but most importantly and staying with your point, they complain the least. True "half-fullers".
Which begs the question, do our troubles make us stronger? Does this strentgh give birth to such gratitude? Does gratitude bring us happiness? Thusly and full circle, do our troubles bring us happiness?
Happy Memorial Day
~di

Floridacracker said...

Good work, Zanne.

Katie said...

:)

Angie said...

Amen to that!

KatKit13 said...

Blessings to the Greatest Generation, and all who have served and are presently serving.

squire said...

Can't think of many people that I know over the age of 70 that I don't admire and wish I could be more like them.

Zebigleb said...

Very interresting for a long far french reader, this is a view of american way of life in the real life I love particulary.