Guest Post By Cindy Curcio
Reflections on the Passing of George H. W. Bush
There is substantial chatter on the airwaves regarding the passing of our former President, George Herbert Walker Bush, as there should be. A former President of our country has been laid to rest after a long life of notable public service.
He was one of the few who remained of what was known as The Greatest Generation. I humbly agree; his was the greatest generation of patriotic Americans, defenders of the free world so carefully crafted for us by our Founders, also a Great Generation.
It just so happens I’m reading Bill O’Reilly’s book, “Killing Patton” which chronicles some of the worst warfare of WW II. Much was made about Bush’s youth and bravery, for which he was decorated. Not to debate the topic, but he was one among thousands of brave young men scattered throughout Europe and the Pacific Islands.
An uncle of mine lied about his age and enlisted in the Navy at age 17 and was immediately dispatched to the Pacific Theater. He, too, was brave under duress and was highly decorated. Yet, he never discussed his service during my childhood. He returned from the war, worked as a licensed plumber, married, had two children and passed away some years ago without fanfare. He, too, did his duty to his nation.
I saw the beaches of Normandy through the eyes of an young Army nurse, fresh out of school, who patched wounds, scrubbed away blood and sand, and closed the eyes of those already at their eternal rest. She, too, never told us children of her early career. Should we have known? I daresay we should. However, they chose to protect us from horror.
Over many years I’ve heard the stories of the brave repeated hundreds of times from so many who found their faith in a frozen foxhole in the dead of winter as bullets and mortar shells deafened them; or found themselves clinging to the remnants of their sunken ship, blown apart in shark infested waters as they watched their shipmates succumb to thirst, hunger or circling beasts of the deep.
Many of them were just kids…sons who loved their country so much they dropped out of high school or college to help out the old guys. No one was taking their country away, whether native born, or naturalized.
Now that I am a grandmother to a young man who will be 17 at the end of the coming summer, I find that brand of courage – the willingness to give one’s life for one’s country – to be a remarkable sacrifice.
While I taught both my grandsons to stand for the flag, hand over heart when they were toddlers, I know they would willingly defend their country with honor. They know our family stories of service during that war. I never sheltered them from the realities of such a sacrifice, and the lives that ensued after the war ended. I have no doubt in my heart that they are patriotic Americans, educated and well-informed of both the risks and results.
Frequently I hear about the ‘entitlement’ of the upcoming generation who appears to seek everything for free. Many expect the ‘silver spoon’ or the ‘silver platter’ as opposed to the silver medal dangling from a ribbon pinned to the chest.
It’s OK….until the bad stuff comes in contact with the fan. Where will they find their courage?
They won’t find it in a classroom or a text book. Teachers and professors are too busy instilling guilt for a variety of non-relevant ‘issues’ ranging from skin color to gender. These days, Boys are Bad…and so they’re beginning to believe it. It weakens their spirits. It shatters their courage and overshadows their survival instinct.
I compensate by teaching them they have warrior blood coursing through their veins….because it’s true. Their family has more than one Purple Heart…more than one battle scar….more than one memory of those fateful days when they were called to beat the odds and did it. That day, when freedom hung in the balance for kids and men alike from our nation, and the roar of patriotism deafened their ears. They donned their armor and got the job done.
Today we buried a one-time President – a warrior for the salvation of nations.
He was just a kid when he made the choice to offer his life to protect freedom. Mind those words.
Then please, tell your children the day may come when they are equal to that kid, who one day became a President, or a plumber, or a nurse.
It matters … in fact, it means everything.
Thank you for your service George H. W. Bush….may you enjoy eternal peace.
~ By Cindy Curcio
December 4, 2018