I was born in 1938. About the time I started retaining memories is about the time that Pearl Harbor was attacked. So the first of my growing up years were inundated with "The War". Three of my favorite uncles went off to serve. One in the Army, one in the Navy, and one in the Army Air Corps. They made me proud.
In those days, Americans supported their military and the war effort, overwhelmingly. Since the war was expensive the government sold "War Bonds". And the public bought them. Children in school bought "War Stamps". They glued them in little books. When they had enough, they could exchange them for Bonds. It was not just our duty it was our country. We were proud to give our support.
Hollywood, in those days, was pro America. They made movies that elevated people. Casablanca, Mrs. Miniver, Back to Bataan and so many more. Each and every one a patriotic effort. Many movie and sports stars enlisted and did military service. Bob Hope took his show on the road for the USO, to entertain the troops in Europe and the Pacific. They were proud to give "our boys" a taste of home.
And the parades! Every town, every city showed the stars and stripes, rolled out what ever bands were available that could play John Philip Sousa's great patriotic marches. The military supplied what groups they could, along with the fire departments and police departments, even the Shriners. And the crowds thronged to these parades. We were all proud of those who marched, proud of our flag, and proud of the greatest country in the world.
It has been a long time since those glory days. We still have the greatest military on the face of the earth. And is Pax Americana such a bad thing? The media and Hollywood seem to enjoy tearing down our great country rather than building good will. Those that style themselves as comedians love to ridicule our institutions. Many college professors would rather rant than teach. And God knows, our politicians are more unfeeling, unknowing, and avaricious than ever before.
But we still have heroes. We are a country of good, God fearing people, with poor leadership. But our strength is in our people, not our "leaders". We are smart. We are innovative. And we work damn hard. And I, for one, could not be prouder of my flag and my country.
Happy Independence Day. Enjoy the Fourth of July.