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Archive for the tag “World War II”

CHILDREN OF THE GREATEST GENERATION


My dear friend Peter Forrest shared this walk down memory lane that I will share with anyone who might never believe the early life we had. This recap is just a teaser when compared with things I can remember growing up. I was born in 1930 and have memories far beyond the things listed as others still alive could also share. I hope every one of the 47 people currently in my families keep a copy of this article and remember the changes that that happened most will never believe. The hardest thing my family and friends will find hard to believe Is trying to remember me having any connection to a “Silent” anything. I hope this creates some interest and questions, especially by my army of grandchildren before the “FAT LADY SINGS”. If anyone knows who wrote this please advise me so I can give them credits. Clyde Brewer

Born in the 1930s and early 40s, we exist as a very special age cohort. We are the Silent Generation.

We are the smallest number of children born since the early 1900s.  We are the “last ones.”

We are the last generation, climbing out of the depression, who can remember the winds of war and the impact of a world at war which rattled the structure of our daily lives for years.

We are the last to remember ration books for everythingfrom gas to sugar to shoes to stoves.

We saved tin foil and poured fat into tin cans.

We saw cars up on blocks because tires weren’t available.

We can remember milk being delivered to our house early in the morning and placed in the milk box on the porch.

We are the last to see the gold stars in the front windows of our grieving neighbors whose sons died in the War.

We saw the ‘boys’ home from the war, build their little houses.

We are the last generation who spent childhood without television; instead, we imagined what we heard on the radio.

As we all like to brag, with no TV, we spent our childhood “playing outside” .

We did play outside, and we did play on our own.

There was no little league.

There was no city playground for kids.

The lack of television in our early years meant, for most of us, that we had little real understanding of what the world was like.

On Saturday afternoons, the movies, gave us newsreels of the war sandwiched in between westerns and cartoons.

Telephones were one to a house, often shared (party Lines)and hung on the wall.

Computers were called calculators, they only added and were hand cranked; typewriters were driven by pounding fingers, throwing the carriage, and changing the ribbon.

The internet and GOOGLE were words that did not exist.

Newspapers and magazines were written for adults and the news was broadcast on our table radio in the evening by Gabriel Heatter.

We are the last group who had to find out for ourselves.

As we grew up, the country was exploding with growth.

The G.I. Bill gave returning veterans the means to get an education and spurred colleges to grow.

VA loans fanned a housing boom.

Pent up demand coupled with new installment payment plans put factories to work.

New highways would bring jobs and mobility.

The veterans joined civic clubs and became active in politics.

The radio network expanded from 3 stations to thousands of stations

Our parents were suddenly free from the confines of the depression and the war, and they threw themselves into exploring opportunities they had never imagined.

We weren’t neglected, but we weren’t today’s all-consuming family focus.

They were glad we played by ourselves until the street lights came on.

They were busy discovering the post war world.

We entered a world of overflowing plenty and opportunity; a world where we were welcomed.

We enjoyed a luxury; we felt secure in our future.

Depression poverty was deep rooted.

Polio was still a crippler.

The Korean War was a dark presage in the early 50s and by mid-decade school children were ducking under desks for Air-Raid training.

Russia built the Iron Curtain and China became Red China ..

Eisenhower sent the first ‘advisers’ to Vietnam.

Castro set up camp in Cuba and Khrushchev came to power.

We are the last generation to experience an interlude when there were no threats to our homeland.

We came of age in the 40s and 50s.  The war was over and the cold war, terrorism, global warming , and  perpetual economic insecurity had yet to haunt life with unease.

Only our generation can remember both a time of great war, and a time when our world was secure and full of bright promise and plenty. We have lived through both.

We grew up at the best possible time, a time when the world was getting better. not worse.

We are the Silent Generation. (most of us possibly?) CB

“The Last Ones”

More than 99 % of us are either retired or deceased, and we feel privileged to have”lived in the best of times”!

ANON

SENIORS – AN INTERESTING PROFILE!

A typical U.S. household is headed by a person age 65 or older with a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to a recent analysis of census data.

We are referred to as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs. Some of you are “Baby Boomers” getting ready to retire. Others, like me have been retired for some time. We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were. We have worked hard, raised our children, worshiped our God and grown old together. We are the ones some refer to as being over the hill and that is probably true. But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be considered.

In school we studied English, history, math, and science which enabled us to lead America into the technological age. Most of us remember what outhouses were, myself and many more of us with firsthand experience. We remember the days of crank telephones, party-lines, 18 cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes. For those of you who don’t know what an icebox is, today they are electric and referred to as refrigerators. A few might even recall when cars were started with a crank, I do. Yes, we lived those days

We are now considered old fashioned and outdated by most, including my family. But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off. We won World War II, fought in Korea and Viet Nam. We can quote The Pledge of Allegiance and know where to place our hand while doing so.

We wore the uniform of our country with pride and lost family and friends on the battlefield. We didn’t fight for the Socialist States of America; we fought for the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.” We wore different uniforms but carried the same flag. We know the words to the Star Spangled Banner, America, and America the Beautiful by heart and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing. We have lived what many of you have only read in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America.

Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us. We have loved this country, fought for it, and far too many died for it, and now we are going to hopefully save it. It is our country and nobody is going to take it away from us. We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that is an oath we plan to keep. There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.

It was mostly the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democratic Congress. You fell for the “Hope and Change” which in reality was nothing but “Hype and Lies.”

Some of you youngsters have now tasted socialism and seen evil face to face and hopefully have found you don’t like it after all. You make a lot of noise, but most are all too interested in their careers or “Climbing the Social Ladder” to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism and voting. Many of those who fell for the “Great Lie” in 2008 are now having buyer’s remorse. With all the education we gave you, you didn’t have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank the ‘Kool-Aid.’ Now you’re paying the price and complaining about it. No jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes and less freedom.

This is what you voted for and this is what you got. We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.

Well, don’t worry youngsters, the Grey-Haired Brigade is here and in 2014 we are going to take back our nation. We may drive a little slower than you would like but we get where we’re going and in 2014 we’re going to the polls by the millions.

This land does not belong to the man in the White House or to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. It belongs to “We the People” and “We the People” plan to reclaim our land and our freedom. We hope this time you will do a better job of preserving it and passing it along to our grandchildren. So the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, Stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our country and thank God for the old geezers of the “Grey-Haired Brigade.”

Footnote: This is spot on. I am a Gray-Haired Geezer signing on. I have circulated this to other Gray-Haired Geezers and all Americans that I know over this once great county. Can you feel the ground shaking?   It’s not an earthquake, it is a STAMPEDE. In the event you’re not a Gray-Haired Old Geezer, you still are eligible, and encouraged, to sign on.

I want to thank my friend Nevon, who shared the basic outline that I have paraphrased with some significant changes and to include some personal feelings. I don’t know the Grey Haired Old Geezer who started this but I applaud his message and hopefully help wake up enough voters to stop wrecking America. C Brewer

KEYSTONE – SEE HOW REAL LEADERS PERFORMED!

America once had “Leadership”, I wonder what happened to change our historical world leadership. Read this and find out.

Remind yourself this film was produced in 1944 and when politics was not managing every facet our lives from Washington. We won this war because the politicians let the military do the job they were trained for with leaders that were leaders instead of politicians. If America was attacked today it would take Obama 1-5 days to have it filtered by the Czars, politically analyzed by the staff before he could decide what to do. 60 years ago we built a pipeline under water hundreds of miles and did not pollute anything. Obama, tree huggers, greedy investors,  ABC, NBC, CBS and CNN are screaming to keep the Keystone Pipeline from being completed. It is time to stop this nonsense and move America forward again.

America has been stalled in neutral since Pelosi and Reid took power in 2006 and in total reverse since 2008 worried about spilling some shale oil. Washington D.C., Democrats and Republicans, seem to have a burning desire to buy our oil from our enemies rather than from our Canadian allies. I suppose they would rather take a chance with a tanker filled with a million gallons of crude sinking in an ocean rather that a possible few hundred gallons over a few acres from a high-tech pipeline.

Wake up America this is 2014 and we mastered pipeline technology over 60 years ago. Let the petroleum trained people do their job. Let insurance companies assume the risks, which is a waste of money today and stop funding the enemy. I suppose risking American military lives by trying to civilize Muslims and enrich South American dictators is more civilized for Americans who keep electing Democrats?

You may have already known of this, but I sure didn’t. In spite of watching film about WW II and the European theater, I never thought to wonder how all the military vehicles were supplied with fuel. They sure couldn’t just stop at the corner station and fill up their tank or jeep gas tank. I found this film fascinating.

When the environmentalists  and politicians someday find out how to fuel our nations transportation needs with  beans or Okra we can start buying sand from our enemies to keep them armed to kill us. Believe me as I have been there, they have more sand than they have oil.

Thanks to my dear friend Phil Sizer for the film, click below: It may look strange on the blog but it will connect.

 

 

SIX BOYS AND 13 HANDS

True stories like this one made the news but never did or nerer will be made part of our history books. Like other sacrifices future generations will only remember the hippies and occupiers who are already in history books, sad but true.  CB

 

Each year I am hired to go to Washington, DC, with the eighth grade class from Clinton, WI. where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation’s capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This falls trip was especially memorable.

On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history — that of the six brave soldiers raising the American Flag at the top of a rocky hill on the island of Iwo Jima, Japan, during WW II.

Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, ‘Where are you guys from?’

I told him that we were from Wisconsin. ‘Hey, I’m a cheese head, too! Come gather around, Cheese heads, and I will tell you a story.’

(It was James Bradley who just happened to be in Washington, DC, to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good night to his dad, who had passed away. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, DC, but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night.)

When all had gathered around, he reverently began to speak. (Here are his words that night.)

‘My name is James Bradley and I’m from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I wrote a book called ‘Flags of Our Fathers’. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me.

‘Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game. A game called ‘War.’ But it didn’t turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of 21, died with his intestines in his hands. I don’t say that to gross you out, I say that because there are people who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were 17, 18, and 19 years old – and it was so hard that the ones who did make it home never even would talk to their families about it.

(He pointed to the statue) ‘You see this next guy? That’s Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene’s helmet off at the moment this photo was taken and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph…a photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection because he was scared. He was 18 years old. It was just boys who won the battle of Iwo Jima . Boys. Not old men.

‘The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the ‘old man’ because he was so old. He was already 24. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn’t say, ‘Let’s go kill some Japanese’ or ‘Let’s die for our country’. He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, ‘You do what I say, and I’ll get you home to your mothers.’

‘The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona . Ira Hayes was one of them who lived to walk off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, ‘You’re a hero’. He told reporters, ‘How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only 27 of us walked off alive?’

So you take your class at school, 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only 27 of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes carried the pain home with him and eventually died dead drunk, face down, drowned in a very shallow puddle, at the age of 32 (ten years after this picture was taken).

‘The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky. A fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me, ‘Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn’t get down. Then we fed them Epsom salts. Those cows crapped all night.’ Yes, he was a fun-lovin’ hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of 19. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother’s farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. Those neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.

‘The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley, from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Cronkite’s producers or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say ‘No, I’m sorry, sir, my dad’s not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don’t know when he is coming back.’ My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually, he was sitting there right at the table eating his Campbell’s soup. But we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn’t want to talk to the press.

‘You see, like Ira Hayes, my dad didn’t see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, ’cause they are in a photo and on a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a combat caregiver. On Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died. And when boys died on Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed, without any medication or help with the pain.

‘When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, ‘I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. Did NOT come back.’

‘So that’s the story about six nice young boys.. Three died on Iwo Jima , and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7,000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voice is giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time.’

Suddenly, the monument wasn’t just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero for the reasons most people would believe, but a hero nonetheless.

We need to remember that God created this vast and glorious world for us to live in, freely, but also at great sacrifice.

Let us never forget from the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terrorism and all the wars in-between that sacrifice was made for our freedom…please pray for our troops.

Remember to pray praises for this great country of ours and also …please pray for our troops still in murderous places around the world.

STOP and thank God for being alive and being free due to someone else’s sacrifice.

God Bless You and God Bless America .

REMINDER: Everyday that you can wake up free, makes it a great day.

One thing I learned while on tour with my 8th grade students in DC that is not mentioned here is . . that if you look at the statue very closely and count the number of ‘hands’ raising the flag, there are 13. When the man who made the statue was asked why there were 13, he simply said the 13th hand was the hand of God.

Great story – worth your time – worth every American’s time. Please pass it on.

Thanks Jim

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