A Reflection on the Week 1 Chautauqua Lecture Series Theme

Guest Blogger: Jim Kettlewell


 

“Those who have the privilege to know have a duty to act.” – Albert Einstein                                      

Much has been made in recent years of America’s World War II generation. The name, ‘The Greatest Generation,’ rightfully bestowed upon them, but not until many in that generation had left their earthly lives.

More than sixteen million Americans served in every capacity during WWII. Today, only 800,000 are still alive.

Jim “Pee Wee” Martin, at age 94, summarizes an attitude common among members of ‘The Greatest Generation.’

Martin served as an Army paratrooper and dropped behind enemy lines on D-Day. He experienced war in its most brutal realities. Yet, he quickly deflects any attempt to pin the label “hero” on his chest.

In fact, he considers it a privilege to have served his country and believes he took more from the experience than he gave. Is this not part of what defines ‘The Greatest Generation’?

Might we today, in Lakeside, Ohio, consider what a privilege it has been to hear Jim Martin and a host of historians and war participants telling us their own stories? Such was our opportunity, our privilege, in Week One of Lakeside’s Chautauqua Lecture Series. Yes.

It has truly been a privilege to hear directly from ‘The Greatest Generation,’ their very numbers dwindling at a rate of five hundred per day. And may we ever be thankful for their service and remember them forever in gratitude. God Bless them all.

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