A generation of difference

Dear Editor:

I finally made it. I was you 35 years ago, and now I’m a senior citizen.

See, when you turn 65 that is what you are called, and 35 years from now you will be me. You will be criticized for every deficiency of this world, as we have been.

You will not escape this. You will not stay young. We tried to, but it did not work. So here I am reflecting on what we can not be held accountable for; this will be your legacy, not ours.

We are not the ones who took the melody out of music. In the ’60s, we had great music, respected women, nice music to dance to and sometimes with a little twist – thanks to Chubby Checker.

We still have class reunions with our friends we made throughout our school years; I don’t know if you will. We took pride in our appearance, even though we went through the Haight-Ashbury period. But we grew up, got a job and became hard-working people and contributed to society by buying a home, paying taxes and raising children.

We did not take the courtesy out of driving, the romance out of love, the commitment out of marriage – even though some got divorced, we still made sure our children graduated from school; that is called responsibility.

We did not take the learning out of education, the service out of patriotism, the golden rule from the rulers; we made sure they were held accountable for their actions, not like in today’s world where I see people not being held accountable for anything they do wrong.

We did not take the nativity scene out of out cities, the civility out of behavior, the refinement out of language, the dedication out of employment, the ambition out of achievement, God out of our government and schools, and we understand the meaning of patriotism and remember those who have fought and died for our country. Each year I see less and less people on Memorial Day at the cemeteries honoring those many people.

You can pick us out in the crowd, for we are the ones with tears in our eyes and pride in our hearts as we stand at attention with our hand over our hearts and our hats taken off. I see the younger generation not knowing anything about our Constitution or the Bill of Rights or what is really going on in our country and this saddens many of us, for we know that one day you will look at these documents through glass and say ”This is how our country used to be governed,” but by then it will be too late.

Next time you see a senior citizen, show them the respect they deserve. One day you will want the same.

Ruth Lilley