Imagine something similar to WWII happening today (not run and hide terrorists, but a well equipped nation bent on domination and terror). Would there be lineups at intake centres to stand up and take part in the fight against tyranny?
I've wondered this for a while, and I can't help but think the answer would be no. It saddens me to think this way, but the men who fought and were called The Greatest Generation are now in their eighties and will not be around much longer. Has our way of thinking changed that much between then and now? Would we, as a younger generation of men, give of ourselves in such a way?
That's the excuse we give to our old ladies for our friends behavior.
(wife)- "I hate Rufus. He always starts a fight when he comes over here."
(husband)- "Aw...Rufus is a good ole boy. He don't mean no harm. It's just the liquor talking."
I hate to admit it, but I have to agree. In the first place, there has been so much "androgenous" blurring of the gender lines that boys no longer grow up with a strong masculine sense of duty anymore. Protecting the women and children or sacrificing one's own desires for a higher cause or purpose got passed on from fathers to sons (in decent, normal households at least). But nowadays, many boys are being raised without a dad in the home.
Secondly, a strong sense of patriotism and a strong belief in traditional loyalty to the American way of life (including freedom, individualism, self-reliance, and Judeo-Christian values) were key ingredients in the soldiers from "the Greatest Generation". It was inbred in them in grade school, and when they approached adulthood, there was a pride in their country and who they were as Americans that caused them to be willing to fight to preserve it. Kids today grow up with practically no patriotic sense. In fact, they often have the opposite---some vague notion that the United States is some overgrown bully nation that takes more than its share, and that really should go back home and mind its own business.
If Hitler happened on our watch, I'm afraid there would be a strong movement of people saying that we should butt out of Europe's affairs. If Pearl Harbor happened, there would be people sympathizing with the Japanese and urging us to "give peace a chance". After all, look what happened after Afghanistan and the war in Iraq! Saddam Hussein was every bit as evil as Hitler ever was, and he and his sons tortured and killed their own people---yet to this very day, we here asinine assertions that Bush should have minded his own business and the pathetic rant that "we just wanted their oil". And the Greatest Generation wouldn't have sat back and passively watched what has gone on with the Afghanistan situation for five minutes---they would have gone in there, kicked butt, and THEN (after the mission was GOOD and accomplished) let everybody go home.