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December 13, 2012

You Get The Picture: We should heed the lessons of the past

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The chilled rain outside began to tap the shingled roof above my head as if it was performing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Flickering flames licked up the brick fireplace beside my feet in unison.  The calm that had transpired gave sufficient permission for my thoughts to run free.

I began to mull over the 71st anniversary of the attacks on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, and how war once again jolted the generation of my grandparents.  Newsboys heralded that the U.S. had been bombed in that once quiet harbor of Hawaii, a harbor that had not seen any more conflict than the waves that collided with the coast.  The conflict placed Pearl Harbor on the map, while rationing immediately began within the outraged states.

We, today, the generation of endless want and apparent need, have no experience of rationing our resources.  This could pose as a large problem in the future as we near the perimeter of our available natural resources, and be a warning to those who cannot understand the event of doing without.  We are so quick to “charge it” on our plastic credit cards when the funding of our next paycheck is pending, but do not understand the repercussions until the hair-raising bill lands within our overspent hands.

At that time in history, new cars could not be purchased until after the war in 1945.  A ban was made on the purchase of more than one pair of leather shoes a year, while sugar and meat was rationed as well.  Now, I don’t know about you, readers, but if someone took away my meat and sugar, I would not be a happy camper.  But through the rationing and war, the entire nation was bound together, knotted into an inspiring sense of patriotism.

Many families sought to join the armed forces instead of turning their cheeks  towards minimal service.  Bravery was at an all time high, a courageous character that only burns within our loyal few currently overseas.  I’ve observed that in a time when confidence is high and wants are plentiful, perhaps we lack service, courage and honor.  

Instead we are ate up with what’s the next best thing.

As we enter into the Christmas season, let us see through the darkness of our selfish desires.  I believe that we live in one of the most blessed nations, and we are too blind by our petty differences to embrace true patriotism.  Too often, I overhear that an invisible fault-line still remains between us all because of a simple difference in skin color, sexual preference and religion.

As the trickling rain evolved into a pounding Fifth Symphony of heavy showers, my thoughts were becoming drowned out and they came to a rest with the last ruminating question of, what sacrifice will it take to jolt this fortuned generation towards the unity and honor of past generations?

mmccrarey@sentinel-echo.com

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