Passing Generations Must Keep Memories Alive



To Richard Haddad, Roundup publisher -- our May 27 editorial ("A bugle, a bus and a boy who thought he knew") was thoughtful, timely and touching. As a fellow veteran (4.5 years United States Navy Reserve, World War II era), I was glad to know you had a sensitive and wise noncommissioned officer to teach you.

The cemetery's memorials and dates, which impressed you, would have been appropriate for a number of my closest childhood friends.

Their surviving classmates need neither national holiday nor prompting -- these important persons from our past are forever enshrined in our memories.

However, we do speak of them, sadly and tenderly, at a little ceremony, when the alumni association of our small western town's high school has its annual event.

As youngsters, we celebrated Decoration Day with a parade, speeches, a prayer or two, a bugler's "Taps" and games on the streets, or in our central square.

Flags were everywhere. Several then-very-ancient warriors had been child-soldiers during the Civil War and one or two were from the Spanish-American War.

But, most of the parading veterans had sad memories of the "Great War to End All Wars," where they'd fought (and been gassed) only 10 to 15 years earlier.

Little did we kids, gamboling on the grass, and enthusiastically waving our little flags, ever suspect that we were the next generation to be chewed up by the meat grinder. But, even then, Hitler was orating to enthusiastic multitudes, Mussolini was preparing to invade Ethiopia and Japan was busy converting our scrap into its fleet.

Sadly, we from the earlier generations seem to have done too little to significantly improve the future for your five children and their parents. Hopefully, the surprises in their future will be much less destructive ones, and better lives for all mankind.

Carroll Elmore, Payson

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