Summary: Tom Brokaw's book the Greatest Generation helps us to see what characteristics of the WW II generation we need to rediscover today.


Introduction: Tom Brokaw refers to the current generation of Sr. Adults as the Greatest Generation. Of them He writes, “They came of age during the Great Depression and the Second World War and went on to build modern America – men and women whose everyday lives of duty, honor, achievement, and courage gave us the world we have today.” Although not writing from a religious point of view, the words of Mr. Brokaw could be said of the Sr. Adults of First Church and the building of this body of believers. But what makes the World War II generation so great.

I) Commitment to Family

“For better or for worse…” It was the last generation in which, broadly speaking, marriage was a commitment and divorce was not an option. Tom Brokaw (The Greatest Generation)

During War family takes on an importance that perhaps it does not have at other times. During World War II many young brides returned home to live with their parents and await the return of the soldier husband. Many children were either too young when their fathers left for the war or were born while their fathers were away at war. Some did not get to know their fathers until they were 4 or 5 years old. I was told my grandmother that this was the case for my dad. Born in November of 1941 my father was just week old when Pearl Harbor was bombed and my grandfather join the Navy. When he returned home, my dad insisted that this man was not his father and ran down the hall to the get the picture of my grandfather and proudly proclaimed this is my dad.

Others children never got to know their fathers at all. For many wives and children, the joyful reunion scene experienced by my dad’s family would never occur as 292,000 American Service lost their lives overseas.

The scene that was so familiar on the screen of my boyhood television with John, Olivia, Grandpa, Grandma and all the Walton children was not all that unfamiliar. Unlike today, the families of the past stayed closer together in geography. They understood that they were the primary communicators, of values and morals for their children. As a result the family was the center of the social structure of society.

Ephes. 5:21-31

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

[22] Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. [23] For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. [24] Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

[25] Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her [26] to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, [27] and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. [28] In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. [29] After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-- [30] for we are members of his body. [31] "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

Ephes. 6:1-4

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. [2] "Honor your father and mother"--which is the first commandment with a promise-- [3] "that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth."

[4] Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

For the World War II and Depression generation family went well beyond blood.

Matthew 25:35-40

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, [36] I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

[37] "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? [38] When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? [39] When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

[40] "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

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