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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 3, 2004 / 14 Sivan, 5764

Pause and Remember

By Jonathan Tobin


The just dedicated WW II memorial in Washington
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An often forgetful America honors a dwindling band of WWII veterans


http://www.jewishworldreview.com | My father, of blessed memory, spent the better part of three years serving with the 8th Air Force in England during World War II, and later in Germany during the occupation. My mother spent this same period working in New York City's Department of Health.


Yet the stories that she told of life during World War II were far more vivid than those of my father. Among the best was the tale of how she had traveled across the country via train — no mean feat during wartime — to meet my dad for a brief visit in Indianapolis before he was shipped overseas.


Even better was the dramatic recollection of how she had wept uncontrollably as she saw the pictures of the first troops hitting the beaches of France on the cover of the daily papers after D-Day. The recollection of pain and grief of watching from afar as the fate of a loved one — and so many other Americans — remained unknown can still bring tears to her eyes.


The story, which was often told and retold in our home, spoke of my mother's near hysteria and how her normally stern boss had reacted with sympathy, comforting her the promise that she would be granted a vacation the moment my father came home. That memory was inevitably followed by another retelling of the happy day when he did return and surprised her by showing up at my grandparents' apartment sooner than expected after their long separation.

DOING THEIR JOB
When asked what he had done that day, my father had no colorful tales. For him and for most veterans, there was no Shakespearean flourish about a "Band of Brothers" or those abed in America envying their part in the great crusade for freedom.


He would merely say that he and his fellow crewmen spent that time working virtually nonstop for more than a week as they strove to keep the planes in their P-51 fighter-bomber squadron aloft as they supported the landing and battered the counterattacking Nazis.


As an afterthought, he would sometimes add that he fell ill as a result of exhaustion and spent weeks in the hospital recovering from pneumonia — and that some SOB in the Army Air Corps hospital stole his wedding ring while he was being treated.


He had done a job and gotten sick. He then went back to work doing his job.


Eventually, he got to go home. End of story.

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Like most of what we now call "The Greatest Generation," Dad took the experience in stride. It had been, for him and most of the millions like him, the great adventure of his life. But he didn't think of it as heroic. And like a lot of veterans I've met, he had little nostalgia for the war, and even less patience for those who reveled in their memories. He had been a small part of something monumental and was proud, but primarily, it had been an interruption of his life.


As far as he was concerned, the big story was more personal: how a boy like him, who had been raised in an orphanage, could grow up to lead a productive life, marry the woman he loved, own a home, and see his children go off to college and on to professional careers. In what was perhaps his only flight into rhetorical fancy, he would sometimes say, in his later years, that he had lived the "American dream."


And that, for those seeking to understand the dwindling band of veterans that America is honoring on the 60th anniversary of D-Day, is what that generation was all about.


The opening of the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., has set off a sea of bubbling rhetoric of praise for the veterans. But the gap between the heroism of the veterans — and the culture of the baby-boomers who followed — isn't often articulated, but has to be on the tip of everyone's tongue.


I can't help but wonder what kids today will make of all this fuss since for most of them, D-Day is as remote as Gettysburg. Surveys of students have shown that most have trouble identifying who America's allies and foes were, and have little notion of the events, let alone the chronology, of the war.


Unlike the popular culture of today, which regards anything that happened the day before yesterday as ancient history, the America that I grew up in during the early 1960s was pretty much obsessed with World War II. Those few television shows that weren't about cowboys in the Old West were about soldiers, sailors or airmen — not just the dramas like "Combat" but also comedies such as "McHale's Navy."


As the times changed, heroes turned to anti-heroes, and the spirit of patriotism and glorification of the American military altered radically. The politics and the foreign policy of the 1950s and '60s was about trying to avoid a repetition of the appeasement of totalitarian governments that had led to World War II, while a subsequent generation worried a lot more about not getting into another Vietnam. As the reaction to the ups and downs of the American campaign in Iraq has shown, it isn't clear whether the pendulum has swung back.

STICK TO THE POINT
But as much as some pundits would love to tie up the nostalgia for the 1940s with a prowar stance or to contrast the generally united American people of that time with our current political divisions, it would be a mistake to get too caught up in this rhetorical box. Every generation has its own tests. If our lot is easier than that of our fathers, it's not because we are weak. It is precisely because my father's generation was strong enough to do what had to be done that the world they created was passed down to us.


And let's not forget that despite the relative ease and comfort of contemporary lives in this country, the America of 2004 has new tests to pass. After all, despite all the blackouts of the 1940s, the New York my mother lived in during the war was never attacked by the enemies of freedom. Those who live there now cannot say the same.


With each advancing anniversary associated with the war, the number of veterans around to tell us to stop making speeches and stick to the business of making a better America and ensuring its safety is getting fewer and fewer. Too many of them, like my father, are gone now, like the hundreds of thousands who fell on the battlefield and did not get to experience the American dream they sacrificed to preserve. May all of their memories be for a blessing. And may we and those who follow us be worthy of their legacy.

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JWR contributor Jonathan S. Tobin is executive editor of the Philadelphia Jewish Exponent. Let him know what you think by clicking here.

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© 2004, Jonathan Tobin