WHY THEY ARE THE GREATEST GENERATION

26 comments

Posted on 22nd February 2012 by Administrator in Economy |Politics |Social Issues

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They are rapidly dying off. There are very few Greatest Generation members left. What they did is being forgotten by todays generations. This is how Turnings in history happen. This is why history is cyclical. This is why we are doomed to repeat mistakes of the past. The five week battle of Iwo Jima in 1945 marked the very end of the last Fourth Turning. Without the sacrifice of these men, there would not have been a new High. Fourth Turnings require tremendous sacrifice and a spirit that doesn’t seem to be present today. In the space of five weeks more American soldiers were killed on the tiny volcanic island of Iwo Jima than were killed in eight years of fighting in Iraq. The Japanese did not believe in surrender. These young marines had to slaughter 18,000 Japanese to take this rock. They did it. I can’t even imagine the horror of those five weeks in hell.

This event took place in year 16 of the last Fourth Turning. We are presently in year 5 of this Fourth Turning. Do horrors of this scale or greater await our Millenial generation? Will they meet the challenge. Will we all meet the challenge. There is no guarantee that a new High will occur. There are many challenges, risks, and battles ahead. Will the American people make their ancestors proud or will we shirk our responsibility to future generations? The choice is ours.

 

Anniversary recalls grim toll of Iwo Jima

Bruce Bender remembers the Marines’ bloody fighting for the Pacific island in 1945. Breaking his silence over World War II, he recently wrote his memoirs so his children would know what happened.

Iwo Jima anniversary

Bruce Bender, 88, was in the first wave of U.S. Marines to land on the beaches of Iwo Jima on Feb. 19, 1945. He was with the 4th Battalion 14th Marines and has written a book about his experiences during World War ll. (Scott Smeltzer / Daily Pilot / February 16, 2012)

 
By Lauren Williams, Los Angeles TimesFebruary 21, 2012
 
Although his memories of Iwo Jima are more than 6 decades old, Bruce Bender remembers the volcanic ash, the pungent smell of sulfur and oppressive heat with vivid clarity.Bender was one of the first Marines to set foot on a desolate island in the Pacific in 1945 in what became a turning point in World War II. The offensive began calmly enough, but it didn’t stay that way for long.The barrage began when the third wave of Marines hit the shore. It didn’t end for two days.”They were shooting at us — we were digging holes,” Bender said, a faint accent reflective of his native Pittsburgh still in his voice.Of the 29 men who came ashore together, Bender was one of three to survive the bloodshed, and the only one to leave unscathed.

Sunday marked the 67th anniversary of the storming of Iwo Jima. Bender, who’s 88 now and lives in Costa Mesa, is one of a shrinking number of World War II veterans who have survived to share their memories.

The marching orders were straightforward: Ascend Mt. Suribachi and eventually make the island safe for U.S. pilots to use as a stopover en route to the Japanese mainland.

But the planned five-day mission turned into a bloody commitment lasting more than a month. More than 6,000 Americans lost their lives and about 18,000 of the Japanese defenders were killed, according to the U.S. military‘s estimates.

Before the storming of Iwo Jima, the U.S. Navy led a three-day bombardment that stripped the island of its vegetation, leaving the Marines exposed as they came ashore. The heat and the stench of sulfur were oppressive. and Bender said he found it amazing that the Japanese soldiers had been able to live on the island.

Suribachi was pockmarked with caves and other well-concealed hiding places where the Japanese would shoot at the advancing Marines. It was nearly impossible to determine where the shots were coming from, Bender said.

Amid the chaos of the battle, Bender received a combat promotion to first lieutenant because of the escalating fatalities.

Bender said the smell was nearly impossible to forget. Men on the island were barred from using water for anything other than drinking. They faced a possible court-martial if they used valuable freshwater to bathe, he said.

After a month without bathing, the men reeked.

But the Battle of Iwo Jima took place as the war was winding down, and before long, Bender was recuperating in Maui, Hawaii.

He eventually graduated from USC on the GI Bill. While there, he met his wife, Jeanette, 83, in what she describes as a “whirlwind romance.” Married for 62 years, the couple have three children, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Over the years, like many veterans of his era, Bender has remained silent about his experiences.

“He said, ‘Why should I be the one to be here to tell the story?’ ” Jeanette Bender said.

It wasn’t until about five years ago that he saw the value in telling his children about his life during the war. He later opened up enough to start writing it down.

Last December, each of his children found a hardcover copy of his book under the Christmas tree.

“I promised my children over the years that I would have it done and completed, and I finally did,” he said. “It was just, well hey, instead of buying junky things for our kids, we tried to give something they could pass on to their own children when they have children.

“We wanted to put money into something that would last,” he said.



26 Comments
  1. Stucky says:

    The Greatest Generation gave birth to and raised ……………… Boomers, thus becoming the first generation in history to both save and then destroy their country.

    StuchenXer the Boomer Basher

    22nd February 2012 at 9:13 am

  2. flash says:

    The greatest ..sure. I’ll give ‘em that.
    By following the the charlatans Churchill and Roosevelt to an evil and unnecessary war , they became the largest group of easily duped dumb-asses in all history.

    And what of their German, Japanese ,Italian and National Chinese peers. If being born in a certain time makes you a member of specifically labeled and endowed generation with either positive or negative achievement does the criteria not apply to all nations as well? Or, only those men in possession of superior material with which to wage total war to be considered great?

    http://lewrockwell.com/denson/denson14.1.html
    Pres.Hoover lays out the achievement of the greatest here:

    , “A far more important purpose of these volumes is to remind our people of the consequences of war. The victors in modern war are in reality the vanquished. If at times this narrative appears to be blunt in its conclusions, I hope the reader will keep in mind the results of 20 years of Roosevelt, Truman domination of America. These policies made nearly half the world Communist, armed and bent on the destruction of all free men; made another one-third of the world Socialists, both seeking to infect American life. The cost to the American people has been 400,000 dead sons; nearly 800,000 more wounded; and imposed on us the need to support two million widows, orphans and disabled veterans; saddled us with more than $300* billion in federal obligations; brought taxation through the front door as to every cottage and every – inflation through the back door, as to make a post-war income of $5,000 a year no greater than the purchasing value than a pre-war income of $2000; undermined our savings for insurance and old age; and in the end, brought us 10 years of Cold War and no peace at the end yet.”

    22nd February 2012 at 9:34 am

  3. Stucky says:

    flash

    The small problem I have with the lewrockwell paragraph, and to some extent your “unnecessary war” comment is he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Literally

    It’s damn easy to spout statistics AFTER the fact; 400k dead, 800k wounded, etc.

    But what would the world have been like if there was no WWII. Germany going batshit crazy in Europe. Germany with their superior scientists developing jet engines, rockets, and the Atomic Bomb … Japan going batshit crazy on the other side of the world.

    Pure guess (obviously) on my part, but I’m thinking things would have turned out even worse had we remained neutral.

    22nd February 2012 at 10:12 am

  4. sensetti says:

    Flash
    “evil and unnecessary war”

    If I remember History did not Japan attack Pearl Harbor and that’s the reason we entered WW2, what would you have done if President?
    “Can’t we all be friends” nice thought just doesn’t work in the real world.
    sensetti

    22nd February 2012 at 10:13 am

  5. brann says:

    the only thing that awaits the millenials is a mushroom cloud….or two

    22nd February 2012 at 10:28 am

  6. Kill Bill says:

    Boomers, thus becoming the first generation in history to both save and then destroy their country. -SnXer

    But but but the technically savvy X’ers will save us all with their electronic, introverted, devices!

    22nd February 2012 at 10:42 am

  7. Persnickety says:

    @sensetti: you need to study more history. Yes, superficially that was the trigger. But FDR had been looking for a trigger for over a year. He did everything possible to bait both Germany and Japan into attacking the US so he could have the war that he wanted but no one in the US wanted. Eventually he got it by cutting off oil to Japan (the US was then the world’s largest producer) AND more importantly establishing an embargo and de facto blockade of shipping oil to Japan from other produces like the Dutch East Indies. Yes, Japan did attack us, after provocations that would have caused virtually any country to do so.

    22nd February 2012 at 10:56 am

  8. Kill Bill says:

    Doan fogit it was WW1 that gave rise to Fuhrer Nutzo.

    22nd February 2012 at 11:09 am

  9. Kill Bill says:

    This event took place in year 16 of the last Fourth Turning. -admin

    O bovine plop. The fourth moronic theorum wasnt even around then.

    22nd February 2012 at 11:14 am

  10. Persnickety says:

    @KB: indeed. And the Weimar era. This fascinating video was posted somewhere recently – I think Jesse’s:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iRJDxqKpb2k

    It’s worth watching (NSFW, by the way). Not hard to see how that one extreme could inspire a counter extreme. And apart from the utter stupidity of WWI (the “Great War”, haha), if you saw huge numbers of the women in your nation becoming whores for foreign tourists just so they could survive, as a result of reparations imposed by foreign powers relating to a war where the foreign powers were probably in the wrong in the first place, you might became a little pissed off and nationalistic.

    22nd February 2012 at 11:30 am

  11. sensetti says:

    Persnickety

    Are you saying Japan had no other option but to attack the US? After being attacked what would you have done if the President, apologize for the oil embargo.
    And help me with my history again was not Japan in league with Hitler, (Tripartite Pact of 27 September 1940.)? And when did Japan attack and rape China let’s see that was, (Japan launched a full scale attack on China in 1937)
    So Japan attacked and raped China in 1937 and then in 1940 aligned with the Bastard Hitler and you don’t think the US should have placed an oil embargo on Japan.
    Please explain that to me.

    22nd February 2012 at 11:34 am

  12. flash says:

    Stuck- But what would the world have been like if there was no WWII. Germany going batshit crazy in Europe.

    The war was between Stalin and Hitler. If the Churchill and Roosevelt hadn’t pushed US into a global war then Russian and Germany would have only wasted their lives and resources.We nor Britain had a dog in that fight.

    see:http://lewrockwell.com/denson/denson14.1.html
    And there’s an excellent book about that called the War of the Century: When Hitler Fought Stalin, by Laurence Rees. And it talks about how terrible that war was. And that’s what Hoover talks about a lot, is that war should have put the two dictators at each other’s throats and reduced them down to nothing. We should not have intervened on either side of that war.

    sensetti.
    Do some research on your own…..take the bait , but don’t swallow the hook line and sinker.
    http://lewrockwell.com/denson/denson14.1.html
    another thing is Pearl Harbor. Hoover sees every move that Roosevelt is doing to try to, first, provoke the war with Germany and get them to fire the first shot, and he can’t get them, you know. So then he turns to Japan. And he sees that as one of the great deceits – Roosevelt provoked Pearl Harbor. Now we have the book Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pearl Harbor, by Robert Stinnett, that gives us the McCollum paper that shows the eight steps that McCollum told Roosevelt to follow to provoke the war.

    22nd February 2012 at 11:40 am

  13. AWD says:

    Somehow killing all the Germans and Nips created a Karmic imbalance in the Universe. The result being their progeny (baby boomers) would cause untold destruction and damage to our country. It only seems like we won WW2. If you factor in the boomers, we lost big-time. Our country is all but wiped out, thanks to the boomers; and with big help from the Japanese, and Lexuses, Toyotas, Sony, Hondas, Nissans, NEC, and all the rest. He who laughs last laughs the loudest.

    The Japanese will always have smaller penises than us (rice dicks), so at least we have that going for us…
    php40.jpg

    22nd February 2012 at 11:43 am

  14. Persnickety says:

    @sensetti: your questions suggest a simplistic black/white view of world affairs and history. When you delve into detail things are rarely black and white. In most wars all sides are guilty, but the winning side gets to write the history and portray it as black/white for schoolchildren and those who don’t seek the underlying truth.

    Japan was an imperial nation and a fairly nasty one at that. HOWEVER, that was more the norm in that era rather than the exception. WWII was in some ways a fight between the original colonial empires (UK, Netherlands, Belgium, and France) and their proxies (US) and subjects (British Empire) vs. the second wave of colonial powers (Germany and Japan) seeking the same sort of thing but late to the party. The US had no reason to be involved nor to antagonize Japan. All the modern rhetoric about human rights and such is BS used as a cover for base desires that don’t sell well to the public. Suffering from a near total embargo of oil, Japan, a nation with hardly any indigenous resources, faced a choice among:
    1) war
    2) surrender to the US/UK demands and desires
    3) oil starvation leading to a pre-industrial existence, effectively the same as #2

    Obviously from a US perspective options 2 and 3 were acceptable. But if the US were in the same position, is it likely we would choose them?

    I don’t know you and don’t want to assume, but many people in the US have a ridiculous double standard of morality, where the most horrific crimes done by the US are justifiable, and much lesser offenses done by our supposed enemies represent their bloodlust and depravity.

    22nd February 2012 at 12:07 pm

  15. sensetti says:

    Persnickety
    My mind does not process contradiction well and I have no double standard of morality. I believe the future of this country is dark and have no faith in its leaders, past or present. That’s why I live in the hills on a small farm with an unlimited supply of spring water, four good saddle horses that can pull a plow and harrow. I can live off the grid with the flip of a switch; I have spent years getting ready.
    Trying to rewrite history is a futile exercise that I personally don’t have time for. I would rather read something that will help me and my family survive the coming collapse. So I don’t spend a lot of time doing things that don’t count. But that’s just me.

    22nd February 2012 at 1:07 pm

  16. willdogz says:

    Flash…
    Regardless of whether WW2 was necessary, the people of the Greatest Gen gave EVERYTHING they had. They volunteered to stand tall and take care of business, knowing that they may never come home. You can debate to death the virtues of whether the war was “necessary” of not, but to them, it was. Had things gone badly, you may very well be speaking German or Japanese.
    The assholes that sit at the big tables are the ones that start the wars, the innocent ones that serve, are the ones that fight them. All you do by bitching about the past “necessary” or not about wars, is demean the memories of those that served.
    Would you volunteer to fight a war that you perceived to be the defense of your country, or sit and bitch about how “necessary” it is.

    22nd February 2012 at 1:56 pm

  17. flash says:

    willdogz -“Had things gone badly, you may very well be speaking German or Japanese.”

    The citizenry of Japan and Germany speak those languages and communicate just fine….
    so fucking what?

    When those men who burned hundreds of thousands of civilian men , women and children to death in firestorms created by massive bombing raids , I pray for their sake that the great creator will take in consideration the heinous acts of war committed were absolutely necessary for sake of the country’s security and give them a pass.
    I personally knew men who openly wept and were physiological destroyed by acts they committed in WWII , Korea and Vietnam and some still suffer.
    Murder is murder regardless in whose name it’s committed.
    And lest you forget the “I was only following orders” defense didn’t fly at Nuremberg.That excuse is only valid for the victors.

    And regardless the country, I don’t fight for criminals..

    Ben Franklin said it best.”Where freedom is,there is my country,”

    22nd February 2012 at 3:20 pm

  18. Stucky says:

    flash

    It seems to me you are indicating you would never, — under any circumstances, no matter what —take up arms in defense of this country. Is that true?

    22nd February 2012 at 3:50 pm

  19. flash says:

    flash

    It seems to me you are indicating you would never, — under any circumstances, no matter what —take up arms in defense of this country. Is that true?

    No that’s not what I said at all. I said I don’t fight for criminals regardless of country.
    Was not ” I was ordered to kill for my country” a common defense at the Nuremberg trails and totally rejected as a defense by the prosecution?
    One is not only accountable to God for their war time actions , but can be held accountable in court if they happen to lose as many Germans discovered when the Russkis entered Berlin.

    So this weasel dick shows up your door and tells you that you’ve been drafted and must travel to southeast asia in order to kill yellow commies ,because if they aren’t massacred in their homes , the dominoes of freedom will fall all across the globe we will all be left dwelling in the grey twilight of never ending totalitarianism .
    Really?

    What a frikking joke. And to think of all those thousands of kids who believed that bullshit and consequently now lie rotting in the earth for the fucking lie.
    The smart kids said fuck you and your dirty little war.

    Fascism is no cause to die for.

    22nd February 2012 at 4:18 pm

  20. Dragline says:

    Silents were always at their best singing songs about the Greatest Generation:

    22nd February 2012 at 5:32 pm

  21. willdogz says:

    War is an ugly thing. The death, the stink, the debauchery, all make war a thing to be avoided. Maybe if the assholes that start wars had to actually face the reality of war, they would think otherwise.
    Most wars are over profit, but in the case of WW2, Hitler was a maniac that need to be taken out. The Japanese attacked us. The people that fought in that war did not have the first hand info as to what the war was about, or how the attacks came about. They perceived the war as outright attacks on America and acted accordingly. The reasons for the various wars never seem to be flushed out until after the fact, until many have paid the price.
    Flash… “The citizenry of Japan and Germany speak those languages and communicate just fine….
    so fucking what?”
    Here’s fucking what. We are American and speak the English language, because we were not conquered by the Germans or Japanese, thanks to the efforts of many Americans that fought.

    22nd February 2012 at 11:24 pm

  22. flash says:

    willdogz-Here’s fucking what. We are American and speak the English language, because we were not conquered by the Germans or Japanese, thanks to the efforts of many Americans that fought.

    LOL..so according to your logic , losing a war means being forced to speak another language?
    In that case why isn’t Russian or English now the national language of Germany , or English the national language of Spain, Italy or Japan.
    Did you not know that during the middle ages , the Anglo/Norman Kings of England who spoke French controlled most of Europe, The British Isles, Corsica, Sardinia Sicily, Crete. Cyprus,etc. with each kingdom in those regions retaining the language unique to their culture.
    You’re argument for justifying a ginned up war due to the ignorance of the willing combatants is childish at best.The same argument could be applied to any nationality.Americans don’t have a lock on ignorance.

    23rd February 2012 at 4:36 am

  23. Novista says:

    sensetti

    Maybe it is beating a dead horse, but there is the fine old saying that “history is written by the winning side.” But … taking it from the top (of the comment stream)

    Yes, Japan did finally take the bait and Yamamoto led the japanese fleet, against his better judgment — and sailed away saying, “We have awakened a sleeping giant.” Now, if you know from ‘history’ that Japan led a sneak attack (day of infamy) on Peart Harbor, you surely must know from congresional investigations in 1944 and onward, that Short and Kimmel were, as we say now, ‘not in the loop’.

    Ten days before Pearl Harbor, FDR had stated, “We must provoke the Japanese into attacking us.”, This is in Henry Stimston’s diary of the time.

    And you surely must know the U.S. lost one ship earlier in assisting the British against U-boats, never mind neutrality. Germany did not take the bait.

    And you certainly must know that after WW1, the American public was not enamoured of being involved in yet another foreign war. You do know the Lusitania was carrying munitions in violation of the neutrality act, yes? And even its sinking was not enough to goad the sheeple into war.

    If jolly old England had lost WW1, they never would have been able to replay war debts to the U.S. Connect the dots.

    OK. so, if YOU were president then, would you have campaigned for re-election, just like Wilson, promising the American people, “We will not send you boys into a foreign war.” And in 1940, instituted the Selective Service Act, for no good reason?!

    OK, the oil embargo — mainly to assist Uncle Joe (Stalin) you remember? You do know then and now, the Japanese have no physical resources worth talking about. And the U.S. had reasonable diplomatic relationship with them for 71 years? And no, the bushido culture was not nice. China and Manchuria was not nice. But you have to ask yourself, of all the war criminals of WW2, why did the U.S. protect the fucker in Manchuria to assist our post-war biological efforts?

    But why was Claire Chennault in China in 1935 planning firebomb attacks on Tokyo and other places in 1935?!

    (As an aside, I could ask why FDR was paying above market price for silver, which destroyed the Chinese economy and gave rise to the Communist party there?)

    Well, I am plesed for you that you have found something that works for you. But if ‘rewriting history’ is not your cup of tea, WTF even bother with anything? Maybe it does not matter to you personally that Short and Kimmel were scapegoated for Peal Harbor. And CONgress was still debating the point in 1989 or something, I forget. I am sure they didn’t. Or their families.

    And when the neocons drag us into another useless war with Iran, waving the flag of those scary Iranian mushroom clouds, it’s nothing to do with you.

    History does rhyme and some are tone-deaf to it.

    23rd February 2012 at 10:52 am

  24. flash says:

    Touche’ Novista..

    I’m with Albert on this one..

    “Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it”

    Albert Einstein

    23rd February 2012 at 1:20 pm

  25. efarmer says:

    One of my greatest fears is that history has been molested so badly that a good portion of Americans believe that WWII was instrumental in ending the Depression, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    So as we are flying headlong into the next depression will the Morons in DC somehow believe we should start WWIII to get us out of our economic malaise?

    I shouldn’t worry about this, but I have kids that would be called to serve.

    EF

    23rd February 2012 at 1:43 pm

  26. Northpal says:

    I will repeat Flash’s assessment “By following the the charlatans Churchill and Roosevelt to an evil and unnecessary war , they became the largest group of easily duped dumb-asses in all history.”
    At a may 1940 speech at Annapolis, FDR told the navy to sink and harass German trading ships.
    Novista has it down fairly accurate also.
    As far as Japan attacking, documents are out how FDR knew they were on their way, the British and US were strangling and harassing them with oil embargo (for booting Rockefeller and Rothschild oil out of the area) among other things. FDR’s buddy Stalin was on the other end in two great border skirmishes paid for by US tax payer.
    I see WW1 and the Lusitania was mentioned, remember Wilson was re elected on promise no war months after that ship sank. So you say it was the infamous Zimmerman telegram.
    Well lets see, the telegram was supposed to go through the only trans Atlantic cable at the time which was Britain’s. Guns in question were from colt firearms, they were supposed to have landed in Veracruz which we took over in 1914. But the best part of the whole scam, and the proof of Americans being the dumbest is the fact that Mexico was in a constant Revolution (1910–1920) and Carranza president was a US puppet. (Pancho Villa and Zapata remember those guys).

    29th May 2012 at 5:42 pm

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