My grandfather is 98 years old.
William Lauter is a WWII Naval Veteran. He served on the USS Ray, a Gato-class attack submarine, in the Pacific Theater. My grandfather, like many of our grandfathers and great-grandfathers, is part of what Tom Brokaw deemed “the Greatest Generation.”
The Greatest Generation defeated the Axis powers, built an economic superpower, and ended global isolationism. The men and women of the Greatest Generation sacrificed when necessary and dreamed of the world we have today.
Today, Grandpa lives on Long Island, not far from Levittown, the birthplace of suburban housing developments. Growing up on Long Island, my grandparent’s home was where we had Sunday dinners. Grandpa’s work ethic and approach to life shaped who I am today. His faith, patriotism, and commitment to the family were evident in all aspects of his life. More recently, as an adult, hearing him recount his life before and after the war added a narrative to history. Life wasn’t easy, but life had a purpose.
It is our time to defeat a generational challenge. We aren’t facing warring nations or an evil dictator; we are facing a global virus. Just like our grandparents and great-grandparents, we must come together to win this war. As a country, we must marshal our inner angles to create a better future. We will act with discipline, selfless behavior, and a commitment to the greater good.
Innovation and creativity are born in times of crisis. We will stand-strong as Ohioans to curb the spread of this virus. Our economy will, in time, recover. Our education system will continue to prepare students for the future. We will be inconvenienced; any self-sacrifice demands a level of sacrifice. Saving lives, flattening the spread of this virus, will not be quick or easy. Our generation must do what’s required of us.
I can’t help but ask the question, “what will our grandchildren and great-grandchildren think of us as a result of this crisis?” This is our time to rise-up; this is our generation’s challenge. While there will never be another “Greatest Generation,” this is our time to come together. Our response to this crisis will be our legacy.
Scripture says, “joy cometh in the morning.” The sun will rise; joy will be part of our lives. I pray for strength and wisdom in the face of challenges and crises. Regardless of faith, have hope and confidence that we will defeat this enemy and set an example for future generations.