By John Kanelis / firstname.lastname@example.org
The nation is about to say goodbye to yet another Fourth of July holiday and it gives me pause to reflect on a conversation I had a few days ago with a North Texas gentleman who offered an observation I felt compelled in the moment to challenge.
He told me he was unsure that today’s young people would be able to storm the beaches of Normandy the way they did on June 6, 1944 when Allied forces launched the campaign to liberate Europe from the tyranny that had gripped it tightly.
I begged to differ from my friend’s view. “Oh yes they would,” I told him. I said my only hope that be that there would be no need for them to mobilize and to act the way our parents and grandparents did.
I long have saluted the Greatest Generation, the 16 million Americans who suited up for World War II. Of that total, fewer than 400,000 are still with us. My dad was one of them. So were several of my uncles and my father-in-law. They’re all gone now and I honor their heroic acts damn near daily.
I do not believe, though, that they will be final generation of Americans to step. Indeed, the 9/11 generation is full of incidents of young men and women signing up for active military duty on the day the terrorists struck us on that horrifying day, much like my own dad did when Pearl Harbor was attacked on Dec. 7, 1941.
The annals of heroism are full of episodes of greatness among the current generation of young Americans who are fighting for their country. They, too, are facing unique obstacles as they battle face to face with enemies of our way of life.
They are the heirs of the Greatest Generation who, I am convinced, are set to forge their own path to greatness. I am proud of them.