Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Greatest Generation

The Associated Press described them as “a swashbuckling lot — parachuting behind enemy lines, charging onto sandy beaches as bullets whizzed by, liberating countries from a totalitarian grip. They jitterbugged the nights away, sang about faraway sweethearts and painted the noses of their B-17 bombers with bawdy pinups. "

Donald R. Burgett WWII 101st Airborne veteran
The British complained that “they're overpaid, over-sexed and over here."

Once, there were 16 million of them, and now they’re dying off at the rate of 1,000 a day.

It’s predicted that they’ll all be gone by 2020.

Not much time left to collect memories from those who were there.

Sad, but true, is the fact that those of us who were too young to fight, but experienced war time America first hand, will be the next large group to go, and the last generation to have lived during the topsy-turvy World War 2 era.

Ellouise had a touching picture from those days on her website that prompted me to realize that the time has come for us to dust off our memories and make our contribution to the historical record.

I’ve found that my memories of that time don’t all come to me at once so it’s easier for me to just jot down a sentence or short paragraph …one at a time. Collecting these thoughts and assembling them is like writing a "term" paper.

And frankly, 12 or 15 years or so of term papers and homework was all I could take….so feel free to do it like I'm going to..... send in your short notes…one at a time….and I’ll add them as they come in.

I think it’ll be fun….plus something you write might show up in a history book…100 years from now.

Ellouise and I will start it off:

. Ellouise and sister Lynda -

"Taken in Granny's front yard at 2308 East Seventh Street - wearing my daddy's over-seas cap - I loved standing by the side of the street to salute the passing convoys of soldiers rumbling through Charlotte - they always laughed and waved back."


"That’s one of my most vivid memories as well. Many of those convoys came down east 5th street as well. I also remember lots of trucks containing German prisoners coming through.

My Mom told me that they were being taken to South Carolina to pick cotton. I waved at them as well…..and they waved back."   -Ed
Ed Myers, Kathryn Myers, Charles Mateer  -1942

(To ADD a memory....either click on the "letter icon" below and email me OR Click on the "blue time stamp" and add your comments to this page yourself.)