President Dwight D. Eisenhower
Farewell Address 1961
My father was not an educated man. His limited understanding of politics and economics did not keep him out of the army though, and he did his bit in WW II until Eisenhower, who was a Five Star General then, said it was time to come home. Dad didn’t talk about the war much, and he had even less to say about growing up in the depression. One day when he’d had a few beers, he just blurted out “we used to wonder sometimes, how there were years of no money for children’s mittens, and all of a sudden there was a blank cheque for a war”. He looked at me as if he thought I’d have an answer for that. I guess I shrugged, and after a while he looked away.
That question never went away though, and his generation gave us Employment Insurance, the Canada Health Act and Canada Pension. They were the first generation in most Canadian families to send anyone to university, and the last who could claim the government was afraid of them, instead of the other way around.
We should be so blessed as to be worthy of their memory.