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Letter: We are squandering legacy of the Greatest Generation

We are squandering legacy of the Greatest Generation

A recent visit to the Warplane Museum at Geneseo put me in a world of retrospection. The Memphis Belle is from a time when the nation pulled together, and represents the best we ever were. World War II bomber crews were not expected to live through 25 missions, but they kept going up, time after time. No matter where you were from, you were thankful if you received an escort from the Red Tail Squadron because your chances got better.

When returning home, education was available through the GI Bill and veterans’ civilian jobs were protected. President Dwight Eisenhower deported illegal immigrants who drained resources and threatened opportunities for returning GIs.

This Greatest Generation left us a legacy we are squandering. Rights then were akin to responsibility.

The Reagan/Kemp-authored trade and economic policy and immigration amnesty are at the root of most of today’s disparity and polarity, but these politicians’ lofty portrayal as iconic masters remains intentionally unscathed, with no such consideration for the foibles of other presidents, including President Trump. Their respective military service was positively not heroic.

Our chronic, debt-ridden current trade and economic policy should stand or fall on its own, without spin or fanciful iconic propping.

Don’t we owe it to ourselves to learn from the Greatest Generation? Remember the Enterprise, Hornet and Lexington? Wasn’t it more unifying when our aircraft carriers and ships were named after battles, cities and states instead of our current divisive practice of brandishing contemporary politicians?

No person who may be asked to give everything should have to serve on a ship whose namesake’s policies are abhorred by 50 percent of the crew. The same consideration should be given to naming prominent national airports whose services are used by all. We definitely do much better when the country is more unified.

Louis Boehm

Orchard Park

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