Every Day That’s Since Passed...
Eric Renderking Fisk | December 7th, 2004
Tom Brokaw made a second career with his “Greatest Generation” books, a part of his life out side of NBC Nightly News that had such a profound effect on him that it was one of the main subjects of his "Signing Off" statement last week. There’s a good reason why his experience telling their stories effected him besides the overwhelming number good stories about the men and women who served during World War II. Each of story is profound and different, but all are about commitment, sacrifice and bravery. Since World War II there have been countless books and movies, and there seems to be no end in sight of stories that need to be told.
We’re fascinated about the stories of that era, the ultimate conflict between Good and Evil, the last “Just War”, a conflict that actually brought Americans and her allies together, the most unselfish generation that sacrificed and gave everything to save the globe gone half insane.
Each morning when I post the Daily News update on The Front Page of The Fedora Chronicles, I place the news stories relating to World War II at the top above the rest of the “Golden Era” news items (but below site updates such as new articles written by The Fedora Chronicles staff to give them the attention they also deserve). The reason for putting the news items about World War II and the veterans who served above everything else is simple, they deserve it and those stories are far more interesting then vintage cars, Art Deco, Historical Preservation. If it wasn’t for the men and women who served during that Conflict and the effort on The Home Front, I shutter to imagine a world with out them. I’m able to work on this website, the columnists and I are able to write our articles and you’re able to read what’s here (when you’re not shopping on Amazon.com or elsewhere this Christmas Season…) because of what happened during World War II.
Those who served in World War II as solders, workers in the factories, Fund Raisers, as spies or in any branch of the intelligence field, everyone deserves our thanks and praise. Every day we should take a brief moment to remember what happened on December 7th, 1941 and what they did to save the world from itself in a brief yet horrific moment in time.
The End Of Time and Civilization.
For me, World War II may have begun the end of The Human Race and The End of Civilization as we know it. The horrors of that war, the inhumanity of the Concentration Camps of The Nazi’s against the Jews, the use of Prisoners of War as slave labor by the Japanese, even the internment of Japanese-Americans by the United States and the race for the Atomic Bomb which was used as a necessary Evil by Harry Truman to bring a swift end to the Conflict in The Pacific… all are examples that maybe the human race has gone too far. In many ways we’ve gone too far, too fast and in too many of the wrong directions… in the search of technological advances for the sake of “Civilization”, we’ve for got how to be civilized.
No doubt we have made advances in areas of science and medicine, we’ve sent probes into space and men have landed on the moon. We have worked hard to bridge the gaps that divide us such as ethnicity gender, and beliefs. But while one half of the world is going forward, the other half is heading back to the stone-age while insisting we go back with them or the consequences is murder and terror.
We seem to be hell bent on finding new reasons to hate after trying to mend the crimes of ethnic divisions; men and women who have been friends for ages have closed each other off because of political ideology. If not political ideology, then religion versus secularism or class division. We’re all guilty of trying to simplify the world into “Us” and “Them”, a mindset that caused the Second World War in the first place.
I doubt the world as it is now with its cynicism and it’s love of conspiracy theories would ever be able to unite again under similar circumstances of World War II. We want to believe the worst in our leaders, and some how because of our progress and wealth we allow our selves to falsely believe that any terrorist attack that occurs is somehow our fault and we’ve brought it on ourselves.
I have my doubts there could be another “Greatest Generation”, but that’s one of the many reasons why we have to push even harder to remember the lessons of World War II. Now more then ever do we need to remember.
The Lessons of World War II Are Still Worth Learning Today.
Getting back to Tom Brokaw and his “Greatest Generation” books, why were they so popular? As I’ve said before, those stories are worth telling, the best stories ever told since The Bible. The reasons are the same when asked why do some of us still dress much the same as if it’s still the 1930’s and 1940’s (and I plan to continue to do so well into the 2030’s and 2040’s) and why there are so many reenactors who spend great deals of money on the uniform reproductions? It’s the most heroic period in our Worlds history in recent memory and we desperately want to be a part of it in some small way. In that era, almost everyone was a hero; everyone was part of the grand epic of saving the Earth from domination of fascists or total destruction.
When we’re obsessed with the esthetics of the era, we for get the major lessons of that era and what happened. Why did World War II happen? What could have been done to prevent it and what could we do to prevent another such conflict in the world? Those are the lessons we should focus on from time to time.
We should also remember the progress that we’ve made in the years after World War II, the science, the medicine and the civil rights that helped the nation and the world to live up to the promise of the Constitution and The Bill Of Rights. We’re given every reason to put an end of cynicism, a reason to get involved at every level to prevent what happened then from ever happening again.
Most importantly we should never forget the sacrifice of those who served in World War II and those who never came home. They taught us that there are more important things then our selves. Since that day, they saved the world. Some gave a little, some gave a lot... some gave everything and never came home. We thank you.