DEAR JON LETTERS
War and Peace
Sort 268 on generations and greatness.
by Dear Jon
June 8, 2004
Is the War on Terror the "War to End All Wars?"
Looking for wars to end.
The war that ends all wars is the war in which good triumph over evil absolutely and forever. I doubt the War on Terror will lead to this outcome.
If the "greatest generation" are the veterans and home-front workers of the Second World War, then shouldn't the "greatest president" be John F. Kennedy or Richard Nixon or George H.W. Bush? People want to say Ronald Reagan is the greatest president, but he was too old for the greatest generation!
People praise presidents effusively when they die. Besides, it is not Reagan's fault that he was born too early, and he is the one who initiated the final victory in the free world's "twilight battle with communism." Like FDR, he brought the victory about even though it was the next President who saw the victory completed.
Was "Operation Overlord" and the landings at Normandy on "D-Day" the greatest and most decisive of all battles?
The greatest and most decisive battles against Nazi Germany were fought by the Soviet Union, against whom 80% of the Nazi war effort and troop strength was directed. Stalingrad reversed the momentum of the blitzkrieg. Over a million people died in the "Battle for Berlin." To give you an idea: The USA mustered 16 million for its armed forces in World War II; the USSR suffered 20 million casualties. Is that enough of a hint?
What will a generation have to do to be considered greater than the generation that won World War II?
The generation that can atone for the mess of Abu Ghraib and win back the trust of a world that was once grateful for America's "Arsenal of Freedom" will be the greatest generation. When the predominant opinion of the USA in Europe and the Muslim world is that it is a generous nation with honest people, we will know that another great work has been achieved. I'm hoping that such a generation rises to its task, and soon.
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You will note that none of these were headlined Actual Letter to Dear Jon.
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