At 95 years, one is of that generation that saw the light of day just after the close of World War I. We were nurtured during the roaring 20s and educated during the Great Depression. Ingrained in our minds were phrases such as “I propose a New Deal for the American people,” “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and “this is a day that will live in infamy.” We grew up on the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Works Progress Administration, the National Recovery Act.
Being 95 means we lived World War II vicariously through the eyes of Edward R. Morrow, as he broadcast from London. There was no television; we heard by radio the thump of bombs and the staccato of anti-aircraft guns as the German Air Force attempted to bomb England into submission. We heard by radio of the dastardly attack on Pearl Harbor. Millions of the Greatest Generation found themselves in uniform on a Pacific Island or in Europe by way of Omaha or Utah beaches, June 6, 1944.
Some of us saw the horror of Adolph Hitler’s death camps as Allied forces freed the prisoners from the wilderness of evil. With the defeat of Nazi Germany and the empire of Japan, our generation came home to build this nation into the leader of the free world — a world that now must exist with atomic energy and nuclear weapons, a world at war with itself as humanity struggles to find the path to justice and righteousness for all people. For this is God’s world; it is he who made us, and not we ourselves.
Now in my 96th year, these are days of thanksgiving for this nation, for family and friends, for God’s gift of Jesus Christ, our means of grace and hope of glory, and for the opportunity to continue to labor for the well being of our relationships one with another.
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This will be my 18th presidential election, the most uncivilized in my memory. Let us not forget that the election is about “we the people” — our well being, the common good, the well being of this nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Rev. Canon George I. Chassey