The View From Here

musings by John The Irishman

The Greatest Generation

with 6 comments

Our Grandparent’s generation is often referred to as “The Greatest Generation” – primarily for their role before, during and after World War II.  Unfortunately, as we experienced recently with a member of our extended family, their numbers are dwindling by the day.  As some of this generation passes on they are often dismissed as “they were old” and “lived a good life” – but I see something else.

I have often thought of all the history, stories, traditions, and what-not that these souls take to the grave.  It could not have been more clear last night at the funeral service for my wife’s cousin’s grandmother.  The service was called a Parastas – a Ukrainian Orthodox ritual performed with incense and administered by several priests and monks, spoken in part in Ukrainian.  I had never experienced a service like this, but in the way the Funeral Director knew every step it was clearly not something new to him.  The clergy belonged to St. Herman’s Eastern Orthodox Church in the Cleveland area.

 The deceased was a 97-year-old immigrant from the Ukraine, and she was fortunate enough to survive the horror that was WWII – very similar to my wife’s grandmother’s story.  We visit her weekly to hear her stories, traditions and recounting of family history.  With the way most of society is “disposable” these days, I truly appreciate these individuals, and what they have brought with them – please appreciate and respect these people.  They are so much more than the “forgotten elderly”.

I say all that to only say this – it saddens me that after this generation has passed that these traditions, histories, rituals, and even some languages will no longer be a part of the fabric that helped make this country the melting pot it has been for generations.  Think about that…

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Written by johntheirishman

Thursday, 26 April, 2007 @ 6:45 at 6:45

6 Responses

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  1. So does that mean you want to help me make a scrapbook for Grammapalooza?

    B.H,

    Thursday, 26 April, 2007 @ 6:55 at 6:55

  2. I don’t “scrapbook” – but let’s discuss your ideas. What about your epiph about the newsletter or whatever that was ? (BTW – It’s only 3 months away and we are no closer than we were several months ago…)

    johntheirishman

    Thursday, 26 April, 2007 @ 10:44 at 10:44

  3. Flare up! Flare up! How long has it been, to the hour, minute, second?

    BH

    Thursday, 26 April, 2007 @ 17:28 at 17:28

  4. When you and Lisa take a break from discussing politics, world affairs and how to reverse global warming (when she is in Savannah), maybe you could brainstorm about Grammapalooza ? (exactly 13 weeks tomorrow – tick…tick…tick…)

    johntheirishman

    Friday, 27 April, 2007 @ 5:14 at 5:14

  5. My best epiphanys do come after a few bottles, oh I mean glasses!

    B.H,

    Friday, 27 April, 2007 @ 13:04 at 13:04

  6. Thankfully you’re at least in OUR time zone when you call now – not midnight Blovis time / 0300 Eastern !!!

    johntheirishman

    Friday, 27 April, 2007 @ 14:19 at 14:19


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