It wasn’t of our choosing, and we certainly had no control over the circumstances.
Some of our first memories are of World War II. Emergency sirens, nighttime window blackouts, Red Cross training for emergencies and listening to the latest battle reports on the radio became a depressing part of our childhood.
Greeting the troops as they arrived home provided exhilarating moments, but all too soon came the Korean conflict. In those days, it wasn’t even called a war, despite thousands of casualties being recorded.
We somehow avoided going to war with the Soviet Union during the Cuban crisis but soon got involved in Vietnam.
Our skirmish in Grenada lasted only hours, and we were incredulous onlookers when the British and Argentines engaged in a silly battle over the little-known Falkland Islands. (I’ll leave our more recent and current military involvement to our readers.)
So my generation has known war and pain and suffering, even though many of us were never in uniform gaining up-front experience. However, we greatly admire those who were and salute them on every occasion available to us, albeit with the realization we can never repay the debt of their sacrifice.
Over the decades, we’ve watched as the mighty nations have armed themselves to the teeth. We provided a good percentage of that armament. And oh, do we realize the pain, hunger, ill health and suffering that would have been obliterated had those billions of dollars been available for humanitarian purposes.
Some of us — I know not the number — have long since come to the realization that war is not the answer to our problems on Mother Earth.
I don’t purport to have those answers, but I long for the day when the United States — the most wealthy and powerful country on our planet — uses its leadership to turn the corner and leave warfare in the history books.
Chalk up another
Let’s add Gwen Abbey to our list of 90-plusers. The former longtime Patterson resident now lives in Placerville and turned 95 this past Sunday. She becomes No. 67 on our list.
By the way, word has been received that 90-year-old Joyce Barfuss, who recently fell and broke her hip, is out of the hospital and recovering in a rehabilitation facility. The former Pattersonite has been making her home in Castro Valley.
Class, come to order
The week’s educational assignment pertains to government. Students are asked to ponder this quotation by U.S. Judge Gideon Tucker, often used by Mark Twain:
“No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.”
For the sports fan
Highlighting last weekend’s college sports action was Dixie’s 53-52 victory over Academy of Art in women’s basketball, as well as Dixie’s 3-1 victory over Sonoma State in softball. Things are going well in the heart of Dixie.
And in rugby, Cal slipped past Cal Poly 112-7 in a contest that wasn’t as close as the score indicates.
By the way, many 49er fans are hopeful that Delanie Walker will be re-signed. As for me, I haven’t yet forgiven him for dropping a sure touchdown pass that would have beaten the Rams in St. Louis.
If you are reading this on Thursday, then it is Valentine’s Day. If you are not, then shame on you for putting it off.
Here’s a Valentine’s Day quip:
A newly married man, feeling a little insecure, asked his wife, “Would you have married me if my father hadn’t left me a fortune?”
“Honey,” his bride replied sweetly, “I’d have married you no matter who left you that fortune.”
Ron Swift is editor/publisher emeritus of the Patterson Irrigator. He can be reached at email@example.com.