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Re: The Greatest Generation should have told us more.Qa

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Hey Alexis,

thank you for reaching out to me. If I can help you get your book published, feel free to email me. I’ve been through the ropes with editors, proofreaders and more. Let me know if I can help. 

 

The first-hand stories and photos from our WWII veterans needed to be documented. I also filmed them after the book was released to keep it as they lived it. Working with them has been truly an honor. Their 7 commonalities that eventually came forth will be essential in my current manuscript I’m working on. Just maybe, the next generation can be the next Greatest Generation.

 

Charley

 

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Hey Lou,

I’d suggest you review what the men and women born between the years of 1910-1927 lived, survived and thrived through. You're obviously a Revolutionary War historian or at the very least an enthusiast. Good for you.

 

However, I have to disagree with a few of your comments. Tom Brokow, in my opinion, coined the perfect phrase. Not just for marketing purposes, but because they are the Greatest Generation. I don’t see it’s even arguable between the revolutionists and other war veterans. But that’s Okiedokie as I agree they certainly had it tough. But not compared to the veterans of WWII, WWI or our civil war. The world wars were good against evil, tyranny and a police state throughout our civilized country. 

 

Its a shame you didn't find the positive tidbits in my eulogy for Erwin. My own father passed away when I was 42 years old, he was 80. I’d have done anything to get an extra 15 years with him. Mom left us 2 years after Dad. Erwin’s family was extra lucky to have their family together for so long. 

  

Charley

 

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Charley,

 

What a heart-warming post and I thank you for it. You've really touched a chord that is missing, and has been missing, since that time. I've actually written a book (yet to be published) about human authenticity, which touches on all of your points.

 

Alexis Shepard

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Brokaw is wrong but he's not dumb. A book about the WWII generation would appeal to all those who remember friends and family members who were part of that generation. This would generate many, many more book sales then another book about the Revolutionary War. People can look back in old photo albums and tell stories about all the brave and daring and difficult things the WWII generation accomplished. I do not doubt they did these things and I have no wish to reduce the amount of credit they so richly merit.

 

However, the fact that some old guy won shooting match has no bearing on the accomplishments of an entire generation. PersonaI recollections, enchanting and sympathetic as they are, do not constitute a fair and unpredjudiced method of judging.

 

Yes, the WWII generation has come to be called the greatest. This is mostly because marketing books and movies and memerobilia from WWII is much more lucrative than it would be for our Founding Fathers' generation.  Also, many more people have a personal stake in people from the 1940s than from the 1770s.  Nevertheless, if viewed objectively, The Revolutionary War generation was by far our best.

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The term Greatest Generation was coined from the book of the same name written by Tom Brokow. Marketing genius for sure as it has become synonymous with what was previously referred to as the G.I. Generation. 

 

Identifying the Greatest Generation according to the Oxford Dictionary reads simply: The generation of Americans reaching adulthood during the Second World War (1939–45).

 

Then there’s Wikipedia, which of course is very subjective and reads:

G.I. Generation (also known as the WWII Generation, The Greatest Generation in the United States, Federation Generation in Australia and the Republic Generation in Turkey) is the demographic cohort following the Lost Generation. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use the early 1900s as starting birth years and ending birth years in the mid-1920s.

 

Pew Research Center defines this cohort as being born from 1901 to 1927.

 

The notables and world changing names from that generation are amazing. The list of real movers and shakers that pushed us into the industrial revolution are countless. Prior to the worlds adversity and changes, immigration, sickness, two world wars, major depression and rebuilding the world, the need for innovation was never more ripe. The accepted the challenge humbly, just ask one :-)

 

Charley Valera

 

 

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The greatest generation should be accurately identified.

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One of my featured veterans from my book was buried today. He passed away a few days ago. But don't feel sorry for Erwin. He lived an amazing life. In WWII he was trained as a truck driver, but they decided he'd be better as a medic :-) Seriously?! He helped many people during those difficult times. More than once having to make life and death decisions. But those have been chronicled already at length in My Father’s War: Memories from Our Honored WWII Soldiers

 

After returning home from War, he worked with his Dad running their own business. Entrepreneurs in 1946? Erwin went on a blind date with a gal named Judy. On their fifth date, Erwin proposed to her. They were married for fifty-six years. Ain’t that an "awwww" moment?

 

Erwin loved photography and always had a camera. His works have been displayed in many galleries. Erwin was a national NRA pistol champion too. At age 90...yeah ninety, Erwin took a solo trip to Africa to take photos of wildlife. Amazing! At age 93, he bought himself a new car. :-) Optimism? 

 

Today I learned how he also loved to take his sons on fishing expeditions. Even tying his own flys for the fishing contests he’d have with them. There was a note on his desk, more like a scorecard actually. Although his son caught more fish, he had the asterisk " * Biggest Fish."

 

Finally, athe house today, Judy carried around their copy of My Father's War open to Erwin's pages. She was gleaming with pride. I was honored and embarrassed at the same time. 

 

God bless Erwin and thank you for sharing your life with us. Another Greatest of The Greatest.

 

Charley

 

 

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I bought Brokow's book for $2 at a library book sale years ago. I still haven't read it because I disagree with the premise.  I don't mean I disagree in an academic, let's weigh the pros and cons and talk it over, kind of way. I disagree viscerally.  I disagree in an, anyone who has even a basic grasp of U.S. history knows this characterization is wrong, kind of way. Of course the man has a right to his opinion. But his opinion is just blatantly foolish.

 

The WWII generation was great, no question. They made us into a superpower; created the atom bomb; rebuilt Japan and Germany after the war so well that both countries became our staunch allies with booming economies; set us up to fight the spread of communism; and gave us a formidible advantage in the Space Race. Amazing accomplishments all.

 

The greatest generation did more with less. Our Founding Fathers, the Revolutionary War generation, is our greatest generation.  This is obvious to me, but if you wish to argue the point, excellent arguments for and against the greatness of our Founding Fathers may be found here:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/Founding-Fathers

 

Here are a few facts from that article that make my point:

"They created the first modern nation-state based on liberal principles. These include the democratic principle that political sovereignty in any government resides in the citizenry rather than in a divinely sanctioned monarchy; the capitalistic principle that economic productivity depends upon the release of individual energies in the marketplace rather than on state-sponsored policies; the moral principle that the individual, not the society or the state, is the sovereign unit in the political equation; and the judicial principle that all citizens are equal before the law. Moreover, this liberal formula has become the preferred political recipe for success in the modern world, vanquishing the European monarchies in the 19th century and the totalitarianregimes of GermanyJapan, and the Soviet Union in the 20th century."

 

More specifically, the Founding Fathers managed to defy conventional wisdom in four unprecedented achievements: first, they won a war for colonial independence against the most powerful military and economic power in the world; second, they established the first large-scale republic in the modern world; third, they invented political parties that institutionalized the concept of a legitimate opposition; and fourth, they established the principle of the legal separation of church and state, though it took several decades for that principle to be implemented in all the states. Finally, all these achievements were won without recourse to the guillotine or the firing squad, which is to say without the violent purges that accompanied subsequent revolutions in FranceRussia, and China. This was the overarching accomplishment that the British philosopher Alfred Lord North Whitehead had in mind when he observed that there were only two instances in the history of Western civilization when the political elite of an emerging empire behaved as well as one could reasonably expect: the first was Rome under Augustus, and the second was the United States under the Founding Fathers.

 

Sorry, Brokow, you missed the forest for the trees.

 

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Hi Everyone, my name is Charley Valera. I’m the youngest of four baby-boomers and finally on AARP. Can you believe it? Anyhow, I want to share 7 commonalities I found while researching for a book I published called "My Father’s War: Memories from Our Honored WWII Soldiers." These superpowers they didn’t even know they had, but we know we don’t. 

I know my generation doesn’t fit their mold and as newer ones come along, they seem to stray even further. But, with a little luck, maybe we can help persuade the little kids how they can be the Next Great Generation. In a nutshell, here’s the 7:

 

-God. They believed in God or a higher power to save and protect them.

-Humble. To a fault. Compared to others, they hardly complained or boasted.

-Team. How else could they accomplish so much with so little?

-Work. Hard work, very hard work. Who built the bridges, railroads and cities?

-Family. Where did we go on Sunday? Visiting relatives, having meals together...

-Friendship. Remember, they'd help build rooms for their friends growing families?

-Future. They had faith we'd have a better future, a world without a global war. 

 

Please feel free free to share your comments and observations. Or reach me at charley@Charleyvalera.com. www.charleyvalera.com. But not till after you’ve thanked a WWII veteran :-)

 

Charley 

 

 

 

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