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Wednesday Feature: The Greatest Generation

Yesterday was the 78th anniversary of Operation Overlord a/k/a D-Day. On June 6th, 1944 the Allied Forces comprised primarily of U.S., Canadian, and British forces conducted a series of beach front invasions along the Norman coast (French). The invasion involved 156,000 troops arriving on the beaches or via airborne units (paratroopers) and another 195,000 naval personnel. There were over 10,000 casualties with 4,400 dead within this number. D-Day was the largest seaborne invasion in history.

The men and women who fought and were a part of the World War II years are referred to as the “Greatest Generation”. They are sometimes referred to as the G.I. Generation. This group was born between 1900 and 1925. The popularity of this reference was enhanced by a book written by Tom Brokaw with the same name. Brokaw highlighted various people who came through the Great Depression and then, served in World War II.

What was unique about this cohort is the shared experiences of sacrifice and courage during difficult circumstances. They marshalled together during the war years on the home front and on the battlefields, seas and air spaces where conflict raged. They saw service as a higher calling and duty as an expectation of their citizenship. Below is a passage from the Brokaw book.

At a time in their lives when their days and nights should have been filled with innocent adventure, love, and the lessons of the workaday world, they were fighting in the most primitive conditions possible across the bloodiedlandscape of France, Belgium, Italy, Austria, and the coral islands of the Pacific. They answered the call to save the world from the two most powerful and ruthless military machines ever assembled, instruments of conquest in the hands of fascist maniacs. They faced great odds and a late start, but they did not protest. They succeeded on every front. They won the war; they saved the world. They came home to joyous and short-lived celebrations and immediately began the task of rebuilding their lives and the world they wanted. They married in record numbers and gave birth to another distinctive generation, the Baby Boomers. A grateful nation made it possible for more of them to attend college than any society had ever educated, anywhere. They gave the world new science, literature, art, industry, and economic strength unparalleled in the long curve of history. As they now reach the twilight of their adventurous and productive lives, they remain, for the most part, exceptionally modest. 

Today, their numbers are dwindling fast. WW II veterans are all, if surviving, minimally in their 90s with many in their 100s. The stories survive but barely. As they fade, so do important lessons that should remain regarding sacrifice, honor, humility, and duty. Through their service and commitment to a higher ideal and calling, the world is better off.

In my career, I’ve gotten to know many of the Great Generation including, folks who were subjects of the Holocaust. I’ve heard their stories and will never forget the lessons within those stories. Tyranny can never be tolerated or abetted.

On this Hump Day, I hope readers will take a bit of time to refresh the lessons that are embedded within the D-Day history and the Greatest Generation. Happy Hump Day!


June 7, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday Feature: Summer’s Here!

This past weekend was the official, unofficial start of summer as Memorial Day weekend typically ushers-in the summer faves of barbecue, fireworks, picnics, parades, and warm days. I hope you all enjoyed the weekend and took a bit of pause from your fun to remember those special men and women that lost their lives in service to our country (USA).

There are so many summer traditions that I am fond of or fondly recall as part of my youth (a long time ago). Foods of course, cooked on the grill, never go out of style. These days, I am a fan of farmer’s markets, fairs (local and state), and drives on country roads in our Mustang convertible. When I was young, a summer ritual was packing the car with food and drink and heading to the drive-in movies. For a while, the drive-ins were in steep decline, but I’ve noticed a renaissance occurring and within an hour’s drive, we can hit a drive-in theater. The problem for me now, is that there just isn’t the summer blockbuster, got to see, movies that typified my younger years (and memories). Sure, the comic book adaptations are kind of fun, but I really miss the kingpins of my youth.

I’m going to date myself with this post but so be it. I grew up in the 60s and 70s. My young adult years were the 80s. I spent many days in my youth in movie theaters, Saturday matinees with cartoons! I grew-up in the city so getting to the movies on a Saturday was as simple as scrimping together some change (50 cents was more than enough), hopping on your bike (weather permitting), and hitting a local theater – the old-fashioned kind with a balcony, single screen, drawable red and gold curtains, etc. I was a big Tarzan fan, any kind of western, and some of the creepy, old monster movies like Dracula and the Mummy.

As I got into my teen years and early 20s drive-ins were great as were the multiplexes that had just started to populate shopping malls. Movies were great for dates, followed by a pizza or ice cream. Seeing a blockbuster at a drive-in was a real treat and I have many memories of nervous jumps and audible shrieks at a drive-in theater where I saw Jaws. The enormity of the screen and we, as always, were fairly close, was a perfect venue to see a flick like Jaws.

As I have gotten older, I no longer have a big desire to go to the movies via a theater. My wife and I will try to conjure-up a date night at a drive-in this summer, provided we can find a movie we both will like. A couple of places we know of, occasionally pull-out an oldie, worthy of our attention. I guess we’ve fallen into a routine where, we can find something on-demand for a few bucks and be comfortable at home with a glass of wine and some snacks – definitely cheaper and more practical when it comes time that either of us needs a pitstop.

As I migrate into summer in the great Midwest, I can’t help but recall my favorite summer flicks, the blockbusters of a few years back. My ten favorites are below including the year of their release. I hope this post stirs some fond summer memories for you. Happy Hump Day!

  • Jaws – 1975
  • Star Wars, Episode IV (A New Hope) – 1977 (this was the original Luke, Leia, Han Solo, et. al. flick)
  • Star Wars, Episode V ( The Empire Strikes Back) – 1980
  • Raider of the Lost Ark – 1981
  • Star Wars, Episode VI (Return of the Jedi) – 1983
  • Ghostbusters – 1984
  • Back to the Future – 1985
  • Top Gun – 1986
  • RoboCop – 1987
  • Total Recall – 1990

And, last to mention, an all-time guilty pleasure film of mine from the summer of 1996 – Twister!  Still a must watch when I can catch it.  


May 31, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday Feature: Memorial Day

Aside from the holiday and the weekend immediately prior marking the start of summer, Memorial Day is a significant holiday for many. Officially, it is a national holiday set aside to remember and mourn the deaths of service members, killed in the line of duty (while serving in the U.S. Armed Services). It is unlike Armed Forces Day and Veteran’s Day which exist to honor and recognize, all who currently serve or have served, in the Armed Services (alive or deceased).

Originally, Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day. The first holiday version was created by John Logan, Commander of the Army of the Republic to honor fallen Union Civil War soldiers. The day spread across the states as a day of honoring fallen soldiers via grave remembrance decorations. By 1890, every Union state celebrated the holiday. With the onset of World Wars (I and II) the day’s recognition expanded to all fallen soldiers, regardless of the war.

In 1971, Congress officially designated “Decoration Day” as Memorial Day and marked the national holiday to occur on the last Monday of every May. It is a day which includes many celebrations ranging from religious services at Veteran’s cemeteries to parades and festivals, etc.

This upcoming Monday is Memorial Day in the United States. I am grateful to be a resident and citizen and forever in debt to the brave men and women who fought for the freedoms I enjoy – daily. I will certainly pause and reflect on Monday. Until then, Happy Hump Day. Below is a favorite Memorial Day poem from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow – “Decoration Day”.

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
Nor sentry’s shot alarms!

Ye have slept on the ground before,
And started to your feet
At the cannon’s sudden roar,
Or the drum’s redoubling beat.

But in this camp of Death
No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
No wound that bleeds and aches.

All is repose and peace,
Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
It is the Truce of God!

Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
Your rest from danger free.

Your silent tents of green
We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
The memory shall be ours.


May 24, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday Feature: Lessons from a Cat

Happy Hump Day! I am a cat fan and a cat dad. Ever since I can remember, cats have been part of my life. I love dogs too and have had a number as pets, but I am partial to cats. My wife and I share our spaces with two cats: Mac and Cheese. You can guess what color they are.

Mac and Cheese are brothers. They have never been apart. Though they share a resemblance, being around them for any length of time, you could separate them quickly. And as cats go, they are both different yet, in many ways the same. Their lives are somewhat separate as each has his own routine and personality but, they are interconnected. They play together, sometimes sleep together, share food together, call for each other at night to play, etc. Mac is dominant, bigger and more social. Cheese is more traditional cat-like: sleeps more and is kind of aloof.

What I marvel about cats is their grasp of the world around them and their distinct ownership of all that enters this world. Cats are phenomenal athletes, evidenced by their grace in contorting into tight spots, contorting into sleep positions, and navigating ledges and rims without falling or disturbing things in their path. And, while a housecat is domesticated, they never lose the predatory heritage. Even Mac and Cheese will prowl, seek bugs, destroy toys, etc.

There is much to learn from being around cats and observing their lives within the spaces they inhabit, including with people. In almost a Zen way, cats can teach us important things – things we should adopt as beneficial to our own lives, success, and fulfillment. Below are fifteen things that cats can teach us, adopted from

  1. Indulge Your Curious Spirit
  2. Choose Your Friends Wisely
  3. Get Plenty of Rest
  4. Maintain a Well-Groomed Appearance
  5. Don’t Forget to Show Appreciation
  6. Eat More Fish
  7. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
  8. Spend Time Soaking Up the Sun
  9. Take Time to Sit Still and Really Notice Things
  10. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
  11. Stretch Regularly
  12. Ignore the Little Things that Tend to Irritate You
  13. Look Before You Leap
  14. Don’t Lose Your Playful Energy
  15. Don’t Get Discouraged

I hope this message makes your day – Happy Hump Day!

May 3, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wednesday Feature: The Last Quarter of Life

Following-up on an emerging trend from last week, this post has nothing to do with healthcare, health policy, etc. It is meant to have readers think and enjoy. It’s origin, at least to me, is from a good friend and colleague. Happy Hump Day!

Most of us are now in the last quarter of our life and should read this interesting piece of advice.

This is one of the nicest and most gentle articles I’ve read in a while: no politics, no religion and no racial issues – just food for thought.

You know …… time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.
It seems just yesterday that I was young and embarking on my new life. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago, and I wonder where all the years went.
I know that I lived them all.  I have glimpses of how it was back then and of all my hopes and dreams.

However, here it is …… the last quarter of my life and it catches me by surprise.
How did I get here so fast?  Where did the years go and where did my youth go?

I remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from me and that I was only on the first quarter and that the fourth quarter was so far off that I could not visualise it or imagine fully what it would be like.

Yet, here it is …… my friends are retired and getting grey – they move slower and I see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than me but I see the great change They’re not like the ones that I remember who were young and vibrant …… but like me, their age is beginning to show and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d become.

Each day now, I find that just getting a shower is a real target for the day and taking a nap is not a treat anymore. It’s mandatory because if I don’t of my own free will, I fall asleep where I sit.

And so, now I enter into this new season of my life unprepared for all the aches and pains and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that I wish I had done but never did. But at least I know that, though I’m on the last quarter and I’m not sure how long it will last, that when it’s over on this earth, it’s over. A new adventure will begin!

Yes, I have regrets. There are things I wish I hadn’t done; things I should have done but truly there are many things I’m happy to have been done.  It’s all in a lifetime.

So, if you’re not on the last quarter yet, let me remind you that it will be here faster than you think. So, whatever you would like to accomplish in your life do it quickly.
Don’t put things off too long. Life goes by so quickly.
So, do what you can today, as you can never be sure whether you’re on the last quarter or not.

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of life. So, live for today and say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember – and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the past years.

‘Life’ is a gift to you.
Be Happy!
Have a great day!

Remember, it is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

You may think:

Going out is good – but coming home is better!

You forget names – but it’s okay because some people forgot they even knew you!

You realize you’re never going to be really good at anything like golf – but you like the outdoors!

The things you used to care to do, you aren’t as interested in anymore – but you really don’t care that you aren’t as interested.

You sleep better on a lounge chair with the TV on than in bed – you call it ‘pre-sleep’!

You miss the days when everything worked with just an ‘On’ and ‘Off’ switch!

You tend to use more 4 letter words – ‘what’ and ‘when’

You have lots of clothes in your wardrobe, more than half of which you will never wear – but just in case!

Old is good –
• Old is comfortable
• Old is safe
• Old songs
• Old movies
• …… and best of all,
• Friends of old!

So, stay well, ‘Old friend!’
Have a fantastic day!
Have an awesome quarter – whichever one you’re in!
Take care

Send this on to other “Old Friends” and let them be smiling in agreement.

It’s not what you gather but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

April 26, 2023 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment