Kudos to my successors at the Herald-Free Press for their recognition of the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Wednesday’s edition.
Perhaps that will have helped make Thursday be not so much just another day in the life of so many of us going about our routines without giving thought to those who paid such a price to protect the liberties we enjoy.
Perhaps it will help rightfully renew the resentment that anyone should feel when confronted still today with the absurdity of anyone embracing Nazism, original or neo.
Our neighbors to the south also produced a fine product in their Sunday edition that most likely ran in all Gannett publications, including USA Today. And TV networks, ABC in particular, helped us be aware throughout the week that so few of the surviving heroes who saved the world from tyranny are still living among us, but disappearing at such a rapid daily rate.
What made “The Greatest Generation” so tough, resilient, determined and able to return from that war that saved the world from an awful fate and set about building an even better world?
Part of the answer must be that they were products of The Great Depression. They knew poverty. They knew hard work. They were battle-hardened survivors, the children of survivors, even before they were called to war.
They celebrated the victory upon return to civilian life, before getting on with building that better world, but the celebration was different from any that would likely take place today. They returned to a nation of people who had sacrificed all along the way, too, serving as warriors at home, not in battlefield uniform but industrial attire.
The home support for the war effort was not just a matter of going to work and paying taxes to build a war machine. Citizens did without comforts of life to make sure that every available resource could be dedicated for use by those “over there.”
Maybe it’s just a little too easy today for leaders to send our volunteer military into harm’s way, when so many of the rest of us will not be so adversely affected here at home.
Regardless, we are at a time when it is quite appropriate at every opportunity to set aside our routine in favor of a visit to memorials at the courthouse lawn, or the local Legion Hall, or Freedom Plaza at John Playter Rotary Park.
And, by all means, visits to wherever the remaining heroes of that war are spending their final days in this life.
Give them our thanks for their service one more time, for as many one-more-times there may turn out to be, before it’s too late.
And let’s not pass up any opportunities to do the same for any other veterans of any other era.
None of us are guaranteed tomorrow to hear the word “thanks” or to offer it.
Dave Berry is the former BH-FP editor and publisher and now carries the fancy has-been label of “emeritus.” Please direct any complaints or other direct communication with him to firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, the people who actually work here deserve to not be bothered by any of his weekly and weakly distractions or disruptions.