This morning I woke up feeling exactly like the old codger above looks. Methinks somebody beat me with an “Ugly Stik” whilst I slept. Perhaps this is a portent of what is to come as in just 10 short days I will have resided on this planet for 72 years. OUCH! Okay so in the scheme of things this is no big deal. Right?
You will note that the title contains Roman Numerals, this is to signify how long ago that feels. Roman Numerals; we had to learn them when I was in grade school. Don’t ask me why, maybe it was thought that the Roman Empire would rise again or we were going to become Doctors as they wrote prescription in Latin back then. They even taught Latin in High School for some unknown reason. I think it was a holdover from the Victorian era education system. If you have ever seen “Goodbye Mr. Chips” the 1939 movie starring Robert Donat you will get an idea of what I mean. Yep soon will have been here 72 years and in those three score and twelve years the world has gone through some amazing changes.
I was born in 1942 right in the middle of World War Two, this makes me part of what is called “The Silent Generation” sort of a weird tag to put on a whole generation. Thinking back I don’t remember anything SILENT about it. It was the generation that grew up during the Cold War with the threat of Nuclear annihilation, we witness the Space Race culminating with Armstrong walking on the Moon. Two major conflicts arose. The Korean War and Vietnam. We saw the birth of the Jet Age, and watch our world grow smaller with the advent of Jet Passenger Planes which grew bigger every year. The Computer Age appeared out of nowhere. It was long believed that Computers were things of Science Fiction. One morning we woke up and it was Science Fact. No there was really nothing silent about these times. It was the time of the “Hippies” and the Age of Aquarius with Peace and Love for all. The only problem with that was they were fighting an uphill battle.
The Silent Generation was a lot more turbulent that some Historians credit. There was a great deal of social upheaval with the Civil Rights movement and the resulting riots in the U.S. The Cuban Crisis and the assignation of President Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy. We witnessed the escalation and finally the end of the war in Vietnam, arguably an American defeat. We lived through the darkest hours of the Cold War and witness its end with the fall of the Soviet Union. We are witnessing the rapid increase in War Mongering and Terrorism. The 9/11 2001 terrorist attack on New York’s Twin Towers and the Pentagon in Washington. The invasion of Iraq by U.S led coalition forces (Canada stayed out of that one). The war in Afghanistan against the Taliban Terrorists. As that was U.N sanctioned Canada played her role at the expense of 157 dead. Now we see the Russian Bear whetting its’ appetite with the seizure of the Crimea and fermenting Civil War in the Eastern part of the Ukraine. We have further witnessed Israeli attacks against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Last but definitely not least by far ISIS or ISIL attacking in Syria and Iraq. This latest of many terrorist organization is perhaps the most fanatic and barbaric.
Having fought in a war I am most definitely not a fan but there are times when war, as repellent as it is must be fought for as Edmund Burke said “if good men do nothing evil triumphs”. ISIS in the disguise of Islam is true evil and it must be eradicated as you would any disease. The war I was born in was perhaps the last necessary war, until now, that was fought for there was an evil loose on the world that had to be stopped and it was. The Butcher Bill in that war was high but those who fell did not do so in vain.
Nope from where I stand there wasn’t or isn’t anything silent about my generation. If we are not the greatest generation to date then we are damn well in the top 99%.