Our society is at least four times as rich as it was when my dad came home from the war. Far too much of that national wealth is going to the wrong people -- bankers and speculators who not only don't earn their wealth but who caused a great recession for everyone else. My dad didn't go to college; he was the first member of his family to own a house thanks to the GI bill (no housing scandals of that era -- these were direct government loans), and he was part of a rising, hard-working middle class. My kids and grandkids didn't suffer the Great Depression, nor did they have to slog across Normandy or serve time in a German POW camp. But they face a stunted future. My father's generation did not make their sacrifices only so that their great-grandchildren would be the stunted generation.
This picture appeared in the newspaper where I worked on June 5, 1994, a day shy of the 50th anniversary of D-Day. I was stunned. The man on the far right was my father, and I recognized him immediately. I fell into a chair in a heap. He'd died seven years previously, and I missed him. And on that moment, I missed that he'd never told me the story of that day.