Snowflakes could learn from can-do generation
After surviving the Great Depression, men and women of our Greatest Generation were called on to win a global world war that would ultimately cost 60 million lives.
Their achievements from 1941 to 1945 changed the world.
Today, it’s important for younger generations to learn how free democracies developed. Many of those from that World War II generation, now near or over the century mark in age, were the building blocks for the most prosperous and technologically advanced societies in human history.
In Great Britain, British students learn about the Battle of Dunkirk and how Winston Churchill’s leadership was crucial in defeating Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. Recent movies like “Dunkirk” and “Darkest Hour” raised new awareness on Britain’s impact during that period of history.
Not all Brits, however, feel that those who sacrificed during those dark days of the early 1940s need to be remembered.
Appearing on “Good Morning Britain” recently, Freddie Bentley, a 22-year old millennial, said that World War II history shouldn’t be taught to young children in order to preserve their “mental health.” Instead of focusing so much on our past, he said we could replace it with subjects that are more beneficial and relevant to the future.
Bentley’s sensitive snowflake views clashed with those of a fellow panelist, Sir Michael Wilshaw, a former chief inspector of schools in England who countered that we live in a dangerous world and children need to know about the wars in order to learn from past mistakes. He reminded Bentley that 50 million people died in World War II fighting against fascism and the tyrants intent on world domination and taking away individual freedoms.
Sadly, British millennials aren’t alone in their ignorance of military history. A recent study found that two-thirds of American millennials surveyed could not identify what Auschwitz is, and 32 percent of them said they hadn’t heard of the Holocaust. This got hand-in-hand with millennials being the only age group in America with a majority that has a favorable view of socialism. Unfortunately, many of those who voted favorably don’t know what socialism actually is.
Millennials are attracted to the immediate allure of “free things” being offered by the socialist Democrats running for high office, even though only a third of them favor an economy managed by the government while the other two-thirds prefer a free-market economy, similar to older generations. As millennials age and begin to earn more, their socialistic ideals fade.
John Phelan, an economist at Center of the American Experiment, says the lyrics that Whitney Houston sang 35 years ago — “the children are our future” — remain relevant today, but unless they learn about the dismal record of socialism, and of the horrors of the Holocaust, the next generations run the risk of repeating them. He says learning is essential for a free society, and socialism can flourish only amid historical ignorance.
In a recent Newsweek Opinion, Victor Hanson, a senior fellow in classics and military history at the Hoover Institution and the author most recently of The Second World Wars, said those Americans born in the 1920s were a can-do generation who believed that they did not need to be perfect to be good enough.
When he was a teenager, Hanson said he once asked his father, a combat veteran who flew nearly 40 missions over Japan in WWII, whether the war had been worth it. In an instant, he replied: “You win the battle in front of you and then just go on to the next.”
Hanson said a lesson the World War II generation learned — one that’s almost forgotten today — was that perseverance and courage were the most important of all collective virtues. Whenever he’s at an impasse, Hanson, who was 45 when his father died, still remembers his advice to “just barrel ahead onto the next mission.”
In his article, “Coddled College Students Need to Grow Up,” Quin Hillyer, a contributing editor of National Review Online, said if anyone finds the hard lessons of life to be offensive, unusual or anything other than reflective of basic common sense, then that person needs to get a life.
By Jim Zbick | firstname.lastname@example.org