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"There is no distinctly American criminal class - except Congress." Mark Twain (1835-1910)

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"Liberty must at all hazards be supported." -John Adams (1735-1826)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

End of an Era drawing near!

Justice John Paul Stevens will retire this summer, but this is not about him, the Supreme Court or the battle that might ensue over his replacement. It’s about the generation that he represents and some of the others like him that are continually departing us daily.

In an editorial published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch entitled ‘Generation Ends” it was pointed out that John Paul Stevens represents “one of the last World War II veterans in public life, and the only member of the court with military experience.” Stevens was appointed by President Gerald Ford, you remember him, don’t you?

I grew up under the tutelage of those of the Greatest Generation having been in contact everyday of the world with a veteran of that Great War, WWII. There was no escaping that fact. They were everywhere. They no longer are everywhere. Most of them are gone and the rest are departing at a rate that is so disheartening that one tends to not even want to think about it – but nonetheless it is inescapable.

Besides the fact that there were veterans all around us, there were more being created every day and everywhere. The Draft saw to it. Everybody knew someone with military experience or had a close relative currently serving. This remained true through the end of the Vietnam Conflict and the advent of the All Volunteer Army (Services).

Look around you and count up those that you know that have any military service experience of any kind, it doesn’t matter. The number(s) will not be high. You might have to ask others for information. You just might be surprised at the answers you will get. There are sleeper cells of ‘military’ all over. But, most of you will discover the number(s) to be extremely low. We don’t think of it as those who came before us once did.

The experience, no matter the level they served at, is unmatched by the experience of any other group of acquaintances that you might have. They have been put in situations and lived through happenings that are not your everyday experiences and can not be acquired by taking a seminar. Under most any type of ‘pressure’ of everyday life they will prevail – everyday life is not anything to be compared with what they have been up against regardless of their service record. You can bet on it!

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