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Be patriots not fear mongering lemmings

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POSTED August 30, 2009 2:43 a.m.
Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
After reading “Cut and Paste” Frank Aquila’s letter that he copied off of the Internet about remembering 9/11, it reminded me of when I was a kid and people used to say “remember Pearl Harbor.” You can’t measure national tragedies by how many died, but rather by how the rest of the country reacts.

The people who lived during the Pearl Harbor tragedy were called “The Greatest Generation,” and they were, by all measure. My grandfather and his brothers, and all of my grandmother’s brothers were from this generation. They were men’s men; they stood straight as a board, with their heads held high, and their shoulders back and their chest out, and they feared no man. When the tragedy of the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred, these men’s men dropped what they were doing and joined the military; the Army, the Army Air Corp., the Marines, and as my Grandfather did, the Navy. When this tragedy struck, they did what true American patriots do; they sacrificed for their country. Men went to war, and women went to work in the factories building airplanes and tanks for the war effort.  People bought war bonds to pay for the war effort. People sacrificed by giving up little luxuries like new tires, and new cars, or worse, their fathers and husbands, brothers and sons.

I have written to this paper before about being from the tail end of the Baby Boomers, and I have not necessary been kind to them. Instead of challenging the Greatest Generation at every turn, as the Boomers did; I was enamored with the stories that they told. Instead of wearing their patriotism on their sleeves, they wore it in their hearts. They didn’t wrap themselves in the flag; they fought for their flag. You can contrast the differences between the people and the leadership of the two generations.

The President of the “Greatest Generation” told the people of the time that: “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” After 9/11 the baby boom President, one who grew up watching Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd told us: “be afraid, be very afraid.”  The President after Pearl Harbor gave a call to arms, the Baby Boom President told us to “go shopping.” Patriotic Americans of this Greatest Generation gave up none of their civil rights, rather, they formed the Civil Defense. They patrolled the shorelines and the skies watching for attacks from the awesome war machines of the Japanese, and the Germans. The Baby Boomers gave up civil rights in the form of the Patriot Act, and the used duct tape and plastic wrap to protect themselves from desert dwellers that pooled their money for a few plane tickets. The Greatest Generation saved the world from Fascism and Imperialism, and the baby boomers; well they attacked the wrong country. Now, I may be a little hard on the Boomers, some sacrificed by not buying awesome Japanese and German cars for gas guzzling American SUVs.

The Greatest Generation gave their money to defend their country during the war, and the Baby Boomers spent their money on luxuries during the war. The Greatest Generation gave up their sons for the country, and the boomers gave up other American’s sons for their country. The son of the President of the Greatest Generation risked his life when he joined the war effort, and the Baby Boomer President, well he went AWOL when he was in the air national guard. The vice president during the Baby Boomer war, well he had five deferments during the Vietnam war.

Now “Cut and Paste” Frank wants to generate fear so we can find some reason in his party. Fear in…fear. Fear in the boogieman, the elusive Al Qaeda - the mighty warriors whose leader hides in the mountains of Pakistan.  I don’t know about you, but I believe I live in the most powerful nation on Earth, thanks to the patriotism and sacrifice of the Greatest Generation. Instead of being afraid and relying on the likes of Frank and his party of fear, I am going to honor my grandfather, and those of his generation, and stand with my back board straight, with my shoulders back, and my chest out, and tell the terrorists to go to hell! I am tired of being afraid! The “Greatest Generation stood up to the Soviets with nuclear bombs pointed at us, and now we roll over in fear like small dogs.

Lets honor those of 9/11 and Pearl Harbor by being patriots, not fear mongering lemmings. “Those who are willing to give up a little freedom for a little security, wind up with neither freedom, nor security”
Scott Sadlowski
Manteca
Aug. 28, 2009
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