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The Joys of our elders...

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PatriotsReign, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    Last evening, I attended my parents annual Christmas party. It was the 28th version of it.

    I feel my parents are extremely fortunate. My dad will be 80 and my mom will be 78 this coming March. They have a group of around 30 people of similar age that travel and spend their winters in Florida. My father plays golf 2-3 times/week with "guys his age". one of the best golfers in their group is Andy who's almost 86!

    So back to the party! In the early days, my parents would pack 50-60 people into their tiny cape-style home. It doesn't have any fancy additions, so it's basically the kitchen, dining room and living room.

    Last night, they had about 25 people attend. I know most of them from over the years, so it's always nice to have the privaledge of hanging out with seniors who truly appreciate and love life.

    For a while, all the men sat in the living room by the fire telling old war stories from WWII and Korea. My father and one of his close buddies told the longest, most detailed stories. So after hearing a few, I told my dad and the other story teller, "Obama should send you two over to Afghanistan to tell the Taliban some stories...they'll surrender within 2 days!" and they laughed loudly...especially the other guys who knew exactly what I was saying!

    But to hear about their bravery and their fears from "America's Greatest Generation" was truly an honor.

    After we finished the story telling, everyone went intot the open Kitchen-dining room area to sing....who TF SINGS these days?! My mom & dad handed out the old Christmas carol books and began to sing from the heavens! After a while, I started to feel very emotional as tears threatened to fall. But I couldn't help or stop the emotion I felt.

    These people had all lived full lives and raised large families and they were not only still "ticking", they were BEATING the drums of life like no one I know!

    After the carols were over, my dad sang some Irish ballads. he still has a great voice and knows so many songs by heart that I can't believe he always forgets people's names!

    Finally, the guys started to sing old war songs like The Halls of Montezuma and the Caisson Song and finally into old patriotic songs like America & God Bless America.

    These men & women survived the great depression, WWII, the Korean conflict, Vietnam & the 60's....and they have nothing but love, family, friendship and comraderie in their hearts. They honestly seem to fear nothing...unlike many of our generations that fear almost everything.

    They are all, "nearing the end" but live their lives as if they're never going to die. I learned a lot last night and it affected me deeply. I can only pray that I'll be blessed with so many friends who care about each other that deeply and share a connection that transcends generations of change and adaptation.

    And to think I once thought they were all to blame for America's wrongs! Today, i know I have them to thank for most of the blessings we now have.3

    Harry, I wish you could have been there!
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  2. efin98

    efin98 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Your dad isn't 80 years OLD he is 80 years YOUNG.

    I grew up around those same kinds of wild and entirely true war stories, you hear them and you gain a newfound respect and admiration for all of them especially those who had the addition of racism and bias against them yet still overcame it to be better men.
     
  3. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have and at times still have party's just like that, years ago I always called them "kitchen table party's" we used to hold them in the two and three deckers in Cambridge, my crowd is getting smaller and smaller a lot of them have passed on but I still have the big family......We lost twelve young men from our corner during WWII and one in Korea.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  4. Patters

    Patters Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nice post PR. When my dad was alive he too would sometimes reminisce about his WWII years. Ironically, though, let's not forget it's that generation that also gave the world Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, and others. But, somehow, in the US it did far better and ultimately would be the generation that made womens rights and civil rights happen.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  5. Michael

    Michael Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I take it this wasn't in Cambridge. ;)
     
  6. STFarmy

    STFarmy In the Starting Line-Up

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    Great post PR. I'm younger then you, but I'm seeing this with both sets of my parents (I'm married and am close to my wife's family). My mother's father was a WWII vet, and he was an amazing guy. He died when I was still a kid (maybe 14 or so), so I'm sorry I never got to really talk to him man to man. My father is a Vietnam vet, and last year he got together with a few of his friends from the service. That war definitely had a different feel, but I don't think they're any less a great generation than the ones that preceeded them. To see the U.S. Marine reunions that my dad has been a part of is truly uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time.

    On a lighter note, it seems like your family gathering was like what they show in an old movie, where the men tell stories and laugh and then everyone sings! Very nice story though, thanks for sharing.
     
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My father was a WWII vet, D-day +1... could never understand what he did until I went to the D-Day Museum in Nola, which is a fascinating place, and finally saw pictures of what he did.. One of my favorite pictures is him in a diving bell off of Italy, soon afterwards he got pneumonia and was hospitalized for 2 weeks in that country.. I now suspect that his illness may have been due to bad gas mix.. he did not enjoy talking about WWII all that much..

    My neighbour is 90 and another guy is 92, the first is a good friend who was in all 5 campaigns in WWII... he does not talk about it all that much, except how he used to get busted for punching lieutenants, he was discharged as a private.. once and a while can get him talking... he was involved with liberating one of the concentration camps, then he had to wait on the outskirs of Berlin until the Russians marched in and took the city..

    Without regard always enjoy talking to these dudes, as much as I enjoy talking to guys who were "incountry" in Viet Nam... although they don't usually talk about it until they are liquored up...

    So many horrors they all describe, all it does is serve to support by basic pacifist beliefs...
     
  8. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    Nothing wrong with being a pacifists Darryl. Who can fault someone who wants to see world issues resolved peacefully? I believe pacifism and isolationism were pretty popular after WWI and it wasn't until Pearl harbor was attacked that we accepted our fate to join the second WW.

    As time has passed, it seems wars have gotten more and more horrific. I think the fact that WWII vets were treated to heroic parades and huge welcomes upon their return made it much easier for them to re-adjust to civilian life than those heroes who served in Viet Nam.

    My dad's brother served in the navy and used to tell me stories about him manning the "tom-tom" 52 calibur guns on his ship in the Pacific theatre.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  9. DarrylS

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    I do not apologize for my beliefs, have been this way pretty much since the early 60's, but thanks for the understanding..

    War is not good for much, except the defense contractors who get rich off of the blood of our youngun's....
     
  10. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    I agree...as long as we both accept the fact that sometimes there is no choice but to fight. That doesn't mean an issue couldn't have been solved peacefully. It just means that often, one side makes it impossible for a peaceful resolution.

    Let's use WWII for our prime example of this.

    Let's not discuss conspiracy theories about how we knew about Pearl Harbor, etc., etc.. Because even if that were true and PH was never attacked, we would still have had no choice but to join that war.
     
  11. DarrylS

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    I do not know about Pearl Harbor, as my pacifism was born in the 50's believing that I should trust all things government... when I learned differently and saw the ineptitude of our government, began to learn of the defense contractor gravy train, and when my friends started coming home in body bags everything changed...

    Never forget in the early 60's every friday on the front page of the local paper,there was a little box, kind of a scorecard... it would show how many were killed in Viet Nam for the week... used to say something like 60 americans killed... and 3,269 Viet Nam killed... got a tad suspicious and very angry, that this nation founded on our beliefs would take all this death so lightly... I was not a fortunate son.. and "Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses Killing in the name of!"... resonates currently.
     
  12. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    No matter what form of gov't a country chooses, greed & corruption have always played a large role. This is just my own opinion, but I'd hazard that the larger a gov't gets, the more open to corruption it becomes. And the more power a gov't has, the greater the corruption will be.

    It does't matter if it's socialist, capitalist or communists, the above statement is sound & logical.

    That's why I don't want our gov't to get any larger. I prefer a greater transfer of power to the people. The way we transfer more power to our citizens is via the ballot box. I'd LOVE to see our citizens vote out every single sitting federal representative over the next 4-8 years just to send them a MESSAGE. This country is in our hands Darryl, our destiny will not be decided by a bunch of congressmen & women who believe they are the chosen ones.

    Over the past 50 years, too much power has been granted to our federal gov't mainly through our own inaction.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  13. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    One of the things that I learned early on, is that the basic function of any institution is to perpetuate itself... and that coupled with institutional change is the most difficult, does not provide much optimism...

    Most of what Obama has faced and not done well on is the institutional resistance to the status quo.. he underestimated this, most pols do...

    I agree Gov't should be smaller.. it is easily done, but no one really wants this and no one who will do this will ever get elected.
     
  14. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Pro Bowl Player

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    #75 Jersey

    Great post!
    Especially liked the point about fear today.
     
  15. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    Thanks Wistah...

    Regarding fear....I think my parents' generation has been blessed to have lived through the peak of our nation. After WWII, optimism reigned for decades. Now, here we sit facing an unknown future full of fear & anxiety. But since the oldest generation is already well beyond retirement age, they're set and secure. They are all guaranteed that social security will last the rest of their lives. They're not worried about 401k's or the cost of college for their kids.

    But, one day at a time, we'll get through this just as our parents & grandparents got through even greater crisis'.
     
  16. Harry Boy

    Harry Boy Look Up, It's Amazing PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There has been a movement slowly building in America since the 1960's to break this country up and it seems to be working, the thing our enemy has on it's side is Political Correctness & Lack Of Patriotism the Old America that your father and I knew will never be back but that is life, time marches on, I feel very fortunate to have lived when I did, I worry for my Grandchildren.

    The Filthy Rotten Pig Dogs we have in Washington DC that we have elected to be our leaders share most of the blame for the decline of America as does our "Pop Culture" in general.

    These Are The Words Of A Reverend Who Stands In A Pulpit In America And Preaches To A Congregation Of Screaming Anti American Racists, Our Newly Elected President Of The USA Sat In That Congregation For 20 Years, The Following Is What This Preacher Had To Say About Our Country
    Quote,
    "GOD DAMN AMERICA"

    THE ENEMY OF AMERICA FROM WITHIN IS WINNING.
     
  17. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    There's a contradiction here, PR. First you say the older generation has lived through the peak of the nation and that we are now facing an unknown future full of fear and anxiety and then you come back and say that our parents and grandparents got through even greater crisis.

    Which is it?

    Methinks you paint way too rosy a past and a future for those of our parent's generation. Sure, maybe they're not worrying about social security "lasting" the rest of their lives - but they are worried about the fact that what they do get isn't going to go far enough - they're worried about health care, they're worried about interest rates, they're worried about their children and their grandchildren - and yes, they're worried about themselves. I know you've already declared that your parents have arranged their savings so that in the event that they need nursing home placement the state willl have to assume responsibility - but what of the countless other seniors out there (my own mother included) who don't want to cheat the government, aren't looking for a government handout or a free end ride and are worried about how to pay for long term care?

    As for their "past," most of them lived through the depression and the war. For some of our parents it was a disasterous time which has colored their perception of the world forever. My father left school at the age of 11 and went to work - and then supported his entire family by working in the CCC until joining the Army and fighting in WWII. My mother grew up dirt poor in Chicago - moving from relative's home to relative's home, often in the middle of the night. There was never enough to eat, there was never enough to drink and they grew up in fear and poverty which left a mark and a horror which exists until this very day. Mr. P's parents - they were Jews in Europe who lived through the Holocaust. I doubt very much that anything happening today equals that horror.

    They were all blessed, all right.
     
  18. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    There is nothing at all wrong with love of ones country expressed through patriotism. I'm proud of my family, the town I grew up in and the country I live in. I keep those things ahead of any complaints I have about the wrongs of my country.

    There is nothing wrong with patriotism Harry.
     
  19. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    Do you see the beauty and joy in my post at all? I made some generalizations about the older generation BASED UPON MY EXPERIENCE SATURDAY NIGHT. I'm still full of the emotions I felt with them and will hold onto it as long as I can.

    So when you read about my beautiful emotional experience, your first thought was about suffering & fear? Don't you have experiences like I had?

    I read my post to my dad last night and he started to get emotional. He said he never realized how much he has experienced and how fortunate he really is. As a child, he too was dirt poor as was my mom because...well, it was the depression! But last night he said that's why he's been able to live so happily. We never had money either, but we went away on vacations every year of my childhood without exception. We had tons of presents lying beneath the tree every christmas morning. We never had anything fancy, but I never noticed that because I didn't have any rich friends.

    I told a story about my parents and their friends and every word I wrote was true in my and my dad's opinion. So you decided to be the first to post something negative and attempt to dismiss that joy as misguided?

    That is so sad. I could not imagine telling anyone about my experience and having them respond negatively. Have you seen any OTHER negative posts in this thread?

    That's why I get tired...I'll pray for you.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  20. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    I didn't respond to your beautiful story, PR. It's your beautiful story and I'm glad for you.

    What I responded to was the contradiction in the post I highlighted - the one that said

    Regarding fear....I think my parents' generation has been blessed to have lived through the peak of our nation. After WWII, optimism reigned for decades. Now, here we sit facing an unknown future full of fear & anxiety. But since the oldest generation is already well beyond retirement age, they're set and secure. They are all guaranteed that social security will last the rest of their lives. They're not worried about 401k's or the cost of college for their kids.

    But, one day at a time, we'll get through this just as our parents & grandparents got through even greater crisis'.


    and I pointed out that it WAS a contradiction and that what is true for you and your family is not true for everyone.

    It makes me tired to think that you think it is.
     

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