First of all, some background before I go any further. I am 53 years old. My parents, in particular, my Dad, were older when I was born. My parents belonged to what we commonly refer to as the “Greatest Generation” of Americans because they fought against Nazis, Fascists, Authoritarians, and Militarists during the Second World War.
My father served in the United States Army Air Corps, the precursor of the US Air Force. My mother was younger and spent her time collecting money and scrap metal and other materials for the war effort at home while she was in school. Both my parents lost family, friends, and loved ones in the struggle. That makes them no different from the vast majority of Americans at that time. This is one of the key things that distinguished this generation of Americans from the rest, the entire country was united in the fight against tyranny.
My parents didn’t marry until after the war was over. They decided to wait because there was no guarantee that my Dad would come back. In fact he flew the required number of missions before being returned stateside to train new recruits. The cold logic behind this was that the statistics said that my Dad should have been killed after flying so many missions, and therefore his next priority was to train those who would take his place and take their own turn at the wheel of fate that is war.
My parents did marry after the war and settled down. They tried for years to have a family without success until I was born in 1964. The doctors told my Mother that another pregnancy would probably kill her, so I am an only child. I grew up in the 60s and 70s enjoying the freedom that my parents had struggled so hard to preserve. My parents were both very progressive and the idea that those freedoms should be extended to everyone, regardless of race, color, or creed was extremely important to them. They supported Dr. King and Malcolm X, rather unusual for a middle-aged white couple where I grew up. They supported LGBTQ and Women’s rights as well. I was taught that no one is inferior or superior to anyone else because “We are all in this life together” as they told me. They realized that the world was not perfect, but that gave them something to work towards because they refused to accept injustices against those who were different from themselves. They knew that was the cause of the very Evil that they had fought.
I inherited those beliefs from my parents and they have served me well throughout my life. Even after both Dad (1981) and Mom (2001) passed away, my desires and ambitions have not changed.
I titled this post as “An Apology To My Parents” and thus far I have given the background because it is necessary to frame what I am about to say.
Mom and Dad, I am so terribly sorry that the generations who came after you have failed this country. We have succumbed to the very hate-filled rhetoric that set the world ablaze approximately 75 years ago. We have a Nazi in the White House surrounded my fascist sycophants willing to do his bidding, just like the Evil that you fought against. The nation that you both fought for and protected has been placed on life support. We have failed you and your generation. I hope that you can both forgive us, and more importantly, give us the strength that you had to successfully win the struggle that is now on our own shores, in our own towns and main streets, our schools, and our government. Yous example taught us that this will not be an easy fight, but you also taught us that there is NOTHING that we cannot accomplish when we work together to resist and defeat tyranny in all of its ugly forms.