Thursday, November 12,, 2009
New Orleans, Louisiana
WHY AREN’T WE THE GREATEST GENERATION?
Ten years ago, Tom Brokaw wrote a book about what he called “the greatest generation.” And now, there is a new best seller out calling America today “the dumbest generation.” And since Louisiana is at the bottom of the barrel on most comparative national lists, you can imagine how folks in the Bayou State are viewed. But with all the tools of modern technology where we live in a digital culture with 24/7 information overload, and opportunities for intellectual development at an all time high, why aren’t we making a run at being ‘the greatest generation?” What conditions existed 70 years ago that set those who fought World War Two apart?
These questions were the focus of discussion last week in New Orleans at the opening of some new spectacular attractions, all part of the National World War II Museum. The world premiere took place for an immersive, 4-D cinematic journey through this war, produced and narrated by actor Tom Hanks. It’s a breathtaking experience and worth a special trip to New Orleans just to view the film.
Battle fields come alive with the viewer as a participant. The movie screen wraps around the theatre so one is immersed in the action. When planes fly over, your seat shakes. When it snows as the Germans invade Russia, snowflakes fall on you from the ceiling. New Orleans historian Dr. Stephen Ambrose, the best known chronicler of World War II who initially conceived of the museum, would have been proud.
Tom Brokaw was in New Orleans for the grand opening and talked about his definition of “the greatest generation” in his bestselling book. “They came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America – men and women whose everyday lives of duty, honor, achievement and courage gave us the world we have today.”
Look, there is no doubt that these men and women of the 1940s were resourceful, hardworking and deeply committed to giving extraordinary service to their country. But do we instill these same values today? Or does today’s generation value lifestyle over success, who get trophies for showing up at soccer games, and who have been rewarded for little while being told they are “special” too much? Continue reading “Jim Brown Compares the Greatest Generation and the Me Generation”