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Mullin' It Over Column

The Greatest Generation Lives On

By Congressman Markwayne Mullin

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Muskogee, November 9, 2017 | comments

Veterans Day is a time to remember, honor, and celebrate the men and women who have served in our military.  When I think of veterans who set an example for me, I always think of my papa, Kenneth ‘Cowboy’ Morris.  My papa used to tell me about his stories, the friends he made, and what it was like to come back home.  Sadly, we are losing our Greatest Generation and soon, they won’t be here to tell us their stories in person.

Tom Brokaw, the longtime nightly news anchor, wrote a book in 1998 called “The Greatest Generation,” which captured the spirit of a generation of Americans who essentially stopped what they were doing at home to join the war effort during World War II.  They were children of the Great Depression who were thrust into trying times where much was asked of them.

It was during that time, “the nation turned to its young to carry the heaviest burden, to fight in enemy territory and to keep the home front secure and productive…They understood what was required of them, and they willingly volunteered for their duty,” Brokaw tells his readers.

This remarkable group of young men and women served their country with a sense of duty unlike ever seen before.  With the United States emerging as a leader of the Allied forces, the Greatest Generation paved the way for American ideas, views, and principles to spread around the globe.

This Veterans Day, we can tell their stories, remember their sacrifice, and celebrate their unwavering commitment to our country.  My papa passed away earlier this year, but his spirit lives on.

Who will take their place?  The brave men and women who serve in our armed forces today.  The Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coast Guard, and Airmen who made a commitment to defend our country and its ideals.  It may be a new generation, but it is a generation with a worthy aspiration and a steadfast set of footprints to help guide the way.

Who will tell their stories?  We will.  We can honor their sacrifices by ensuring they receive the quality medical care they need and deserve.  We can remember them by providing for the loved ones they left behind.  We can celebrate them by applying the examples of true sacrifice they set to our own lives.

The Greatest Generation is far from lost.  They taught us all a valuable lesson about selflessness, sacrifice, and perseverance in the face of evil.  As Americans, these brave individuals of the Greatest Generation set an example for all of us to follow.  We can pay tribute by making sure their spirit lives on in all of us.

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