Tyrades! By Danny Tyree
I guess my morbid streak has prepared me for the 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day) and the events leading up to it.
Sometimes when I'm in a contemplative mood, I survey the horizon from my workplace and find my mind drifting to what it would be like if I saw a mushroom cloud in the distance.
World leaders deserve a pat on the back for managing (in an itchy-trigger-finger world) not to have employed an atomic bomb again since the horrific detonations at Hiroshima and Nagasaki (August 6 and August 9, 1945).
But instead of resting on our laurels, we should remain eternally vigilant for rogue states threatening the survival of mankind.
Similarly, the United States has done much to honor "the Greatest Generation"; but more remains to be done for the dwindling population of veterans and homefront defenders: a major revamp of the Veterans Administration, more statues, more parades, more hugs.
And the "keep on keeping on" mantra must apply as we wrestle with the troubling question "Could the current generation(s) handle a threat like the Axis?"
Yes, in many ways the Baby Boomers, their children and grandchildren have been pampered — but I see countless rays of hope. We can't recreate the conditions that produced the resourceful farmboys and street-smart urbanites who defeated Hitler, Tojo and Mussolini — but parents, teachers and community leaders can recognize and encourage the youngsters who display traits of patriotism, sacrifice and self-control.
Rather than "tsk-tsking" over the omnipresent handheld electronic devices, we should give a nod to the development of hand-eye coordination and subtly blend in some educational material to balance the games and gossip. And let's make sure all those best-selling "self-help" and "how to" books are doing something other than gathering dust; life's practical skills need to be spread around, not just monopolized by a handful of survivalists.
"Couch potato" was not a term bandied about in the Great Depression, and today's youngsters CAN get proper exercise if given encouragement (and good examples) by schools and families.
Those alive during World War II literally got "more bang for their buck" with their investment in the A-bomb. Nowadays we should insist on results from government expenditures, rather than just watching money poured down a sinkhole to garner votes.
We once understood that "loose lips sink ships." It's not too late to turn from the habit of practicing lax security for passwords, posting photos of drunken excesses on Facebook and telling MORE than we know on our blogs.
Legendary TV producer Norman Lear recently branded himself a "bleeding-heart conservative" and lamented the lack of emphasis on civics courses. Done properly, civics classes need not constitute brainwashing; just present the facts, warts and all, and students can see for themselves that the U.S. is exceptional and WORTH defending.
As talk of Planned Parenthood videos and "Black lives matter" swirls in the media, we can emphasize that life is not cheap. Ethics and morals and (dare I say it?) righteousness can exalt a nation. Ancient Israel couldn't fight its way out of a paper sack when it got too big for its britches; but when it humbled itself and recognized a Higher Power, one man could chase a thousand.
Let's pull together. A hundred years from now, those alive could well be remembering us with "Victory over 21st-century Problems Day."
©2015 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades". Danny's' weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate.