The term The Greatest Generation was first coined by Tom Brokaw in his book of the same name. Honoring the individuals born in the early 1900’s, this was the generation that lived through the Great Depression, and later went on to serve in war efforts both at home and overseas during WWII.
They lived through some momentous times, and lately, I’ve been feeling especially nostalgic for remembering and honoring this generation.
A Personal Connection
There has been a long tradition of military careers within many branches of my family. I am lucky to still have my father with me, who served in the Army in the 1970’s, and now my daughter is lucky to have her father, who is currently serving our country overseas.
Memorial Day has always been an important celebration for my family, but this year will be especially emotional, as it marks the passing of my husband’s grandfather, who at 100 years old was one of the last Pearl Harbor survivors in San Diego. On Monday, May 25th, I and my blended family will all gather virtually to have a moment of silence for Grandpa Joe—affectionately referred to as, “The Great One”—as well as the others from the Greatest Generation who have since passed on.
More on the Greatest Generation
Grandpa Joe’s generation, my own and my children’s have all been asked to remain strong, resilient, and positive in unprecedented times, and I find comfort in reading about how the Greatest Generation made it through their darkest hours. Here are a few titles you can browse and read now alongside Tom Brokaw’s original book, which is available through OpenLibrary.
Glenn Miller and His Orchestra
Additionally, one of the biggest musical mainstays from the WWII era is Big Band music, most notably made popular by another “Great One”, Glenn Miller. Today might be a good day to listen to some Big Band music and party like it’s 1945! Here’s a couple of playlists to get you started, as well as some fantastic films that you can stream now, all centered around the Greatest Generation.
Music on Freegal
Documentaries on WWII Veterans and Experiences
- Silent Wings: The American Glider Pilots of WWII, opens a new window
- Honor and Sacrifice, opens a new window: A Japanese-American War Hero's Family During WWII
- The Color of Honor:, opens a new window The Japanese-American Solider During WWII
- Ralph Rush, opens a new window: WWII Vet
- Remembering Pearl Harbor:, opens a new window Personal Accounts of Pearl Harbor
- Pride of the Buffalo Soldier, opens a new window
- Freedom Flyers of Tuskegee, opens a new window
Here’s to all the Great Ones in our lives. How are you and your family honoring Memorial Day? Tell us in the comments below!