William Katz:  Urgent Agenda






THE PASSING OF A GENERATION – AT 8:37 A.M. ET:  We reported last night the death of Patty Andrews, the last of the Andrews Sisters, one of the great singing groups of the World War II generation – in fact, probably the most famous.

It got me to thinking that the World War II generation is now almost completely off the stage, and will soon be gone entirely.  The youngest service members who participated in the Second World War were born in 1928, and were 17 in 1945, the year the war ended.  (We took 17-year-olds then.)  Those who still live are now 85.  Their numbers dwindle.  I don't know if there are any World War II veterans left in Congress.  Maybe one or two.  There are none left in journalism.  Certainly none in colleges or universities. 

It's a sad thing.  They were not a perfect generation.  No generation is without flaws.  Harry S. Truman, after all, became famous for investigating corruption in war industries.  And sympathy for Nazism was not unknown in our diplomatic and governmental circles.

But, on balance, it was a spectacular generation, and we will miss its advice and its stories.  When you realize that it gave birth to the sixties generation, which has been a source of constant disappointment, low standards, and decadence, we realize what we've lost.  I think many in the World War II generation spoiled their children, wanting them to have lives that didn't include economic depression and war.  It was a mistake.

We forgive that mistake.  The World War II citizenry was a generation that "did good." 

The sixties generation had a corrupt slogan:  "Don't trust anyone over thirty."  And yet, it was those "over thirty" who saved the world and gave the sixties generation its freedom.  A "thank you" would be in order.

January 31, 2013