I'm not sure I like putting a "tag" on everybody anyway, but especially not a whole generation. It seems to be what the current generation of journalists does best!
They're saying that the youngsters of today will never be the same since the September 11, 2001 act of terror on the United States. Well yes, this is true, and neither will the rest of us! Now I want you to imagine you are in this scenario...
You're a young child. It's getting dark outside. All of a sudden a siren goes off. Some of your neighbors are going around the neighborhood, checking the status of homes. Are your shades pulled down? Can they see light in your windows? If they see light, a "warden" knocks on your door and tells your parents to pull down the shades or turn off the lights. Your parents do it.
Your dad turns on the radio. There is no television. You hear them talking about the war. Our forces are bombing the enemy. We are always aware that the enemy could come and bomb us at any time. That's the reason we have the air raid practices - the "black-out" practice.
We hear our President encouraging us to buy war bonds. At school, children are able to spend their pennies on "war stamps". When you fill up a sheet of stamps, you can turn it in for a war bond. The teachers encourage us to collect milkweed. Why? Because when we turn it in, the long white silky fibers will be used to make parachutes for our soldiers who are overseas defending our country. Everybody is knitting, too - socks and scarves for the soldiers. People who don't know how to knit are learning, even the boys are knitting socks!
The next morning when your mom makes a grocery list, she first of all has to check her ration stamps to be sure she can buy some sugar. If she doesn't, you'll get your birthday cake when she can get more stamps. Sugar is in short supply because of the war.
Gasoline is rationed too, so travel is limited. Your parents can't buy tires for the car either. All available rubber is for government use in the war. Some of your friends' mothers are going to work in factories - filling in at jobs that were left by the men going to war. They're building bombs, aircraft parts and other things needed to fight the war. When the war is over, the mothers will give up their jobs and return to their homes so that the veterans of the war can have their jobs back.
There are other changes in our lives, too. There are things we can't buy at all. Mom can no longer wear silk stockings to church because there is no silk available to the public. It's all going to the war effort - making parachutes. Matter of fact, that's why somebody comes along and invents nylon!
Think it's bad that sugar is rationed? You can't even BUY butter at all! There's a new product on the market - called oleomargarine. It's a white substance that looks like lard, but has a salty, sort of buttery flavor. The more expensive brands come with a little packet of food coloring so you can mix it up and it will look like butter. Oh yes, you'll get used to it.
When you go to the neighborhood movie theater, the news is filled with war coverage. You see all the bombing and shooting and misery of war. You go home and that evening you hear the air raid siren and you KNOW. All that stuff you saw in the news could happen here too!
There is no Ritalin, no Paxil, not even counseling to overcome the trauma that might be caused to this generation of children. Their moms are at work, their dads at war. They live in constant fear that the war will come to their homes ... and yet they survive.
Who are these children? They are us - my generation. Nobody gave us a title. Nobody gave us a pill ... and nobody gave us any counseling. We survived and we are here.
We grew up, went to work, got married and raised families. We learned to get along with our fellow Americans, regardless of their color or creed. Many of us also fought in wars. Our world was not a void. We invented more things than any previous generation. We grew from a generation of children with only radio, newspapers and Hollywood's news reels for information to a generation of 60-somethings with instant news on CNN and the whole worldwide web at our disposal.
We grew grey, but we did not grow old! We love our families, our country and the whole world we have grown to know. We support our President and our government 100% and we are proud to be Americans!