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Jack Riccardi: Just A Minute, “My Dad and Memorial Day”

There’s nothing glorious about a nation sending the flower of its youth into the carnage of war.

Particularly in a blessed country like ours,  think about what it takes to leave all this freedom and pleasure, to go to hard places and do still harder things. And not come back the same, or not come back at all.

If there’s one lesson “the Greatest Generation” taught us, it was their eagerness to go beat the hell out of the Axis powers. My dad was one of those youngsters. He wasn’t trying to be like an ancestor, or a movie star, when he enlisted in the Navy in 1943. He had learned what he had as an American, what threatened it, and what would be needed to safeguard it.

He learned that not from immigrant parents, who were still finding their way in a strange new land. He learned it in public school.

Debates about what we teach¬† (and how we teach) about America aren’t just political to me.


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