The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


May 23, 2014

A salute to the Greatest Generation


In Tom Brokaw’s book, “The Greatest Generation,” he refers to the men and women who lived through the Great Depression and then fought World War II as “…the greatest generation any society has ever produced.”


I would not disagree. I was raised by two members of the greatest generation and many of you were as well. Perhaps some of you reading these words today are members of the greatest generation. God bless you.


Every day we lose members of this group of dedicated and hard working Americans and soon this entire demographic of America will become history, their lives documented in books and remembered in our hearts.


I mention four particular men from The Greatest Generation, because I either knew them personally or know their children. The four men are Troy William Connor (my dad), Walter Campbell Duff, Joseph Doyle Walker and J.D. Lightfoot, all deceased.


I can personally attest to the fortitude and tenacity inherent in my dad because I watched for 57 years as he struggled with physical limitations resulting from injuries received in World War II. He loved this country and taught me to respect the flag and to never forget the men and women who fought to preserve the freedoms this country affords its citizens. My dad died in March, 2007.


A few years ago Walter Duff passed away. His legacy is reflected no more clearly than in his son, Paul Duff. We have shared various activities outdoors including dove hunting and sausage making, and conversations around a warm and inviting campfire. Paul is salt of the earth, generous with his time, teaches Sunday School, raised three outstanding children and loves his country, his family and his God.


Not too many years ago another member of The Greatest Generation passed away, Joseph Doyle Walker. I didn’t know Mr. Walker, but I know his oldest son, Joe Walker. Mr. Walker raised his son right. Joe is a solid citizen always ready to lend a hand to his neighbors and friends and quick with a smile and a wink that lifts one’s spirits.

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