There are six generations in our society represented by those from 95 to 6 years old: Greatest, Silent, Boomers, X, Millennials, and Z
If you are reading this, it is likely you are part of what has been called the Silent Generation. You were born between 1925 and 1945 and are now between age 74 and 94. Your parents were children during the post-World War I era. They grew up during the roaring twenties, a time of prosperity and optimism. They saw the stock market crash of 1929 which wiped out the fortunes of many of the wealthiest. After that, everyone in our country met with the hardships of the great depression, a decade that spared no one. You were in school at that time or just being born. The stress of the depression likely had little effect on you, but it had a profound effect on your parents who struggled to provide for you.
Except for the oldest of your generation you were too young for service in World War II, but many of you served during the Korean Conflict. A few of those born later may have served in Vietnam.
Characteristics of the Silent Generation include:
• Raised in a time of economic uncertainty
• Youth and adolescence affected by WWII
• Strong work ethic
• Discipline, values, appreciation for simplicities of life
• Determination and will power
• Belief in policies of social reform
• Places value on the significance of economic resources
• Working silently to achieve goals and sustain living condition
• Traditionalists avoiding waste and obtrusive luxurious expenditure.
(Revised from Alexis Abramson PhD July 3, 2018)
In my own life, WWII had a profound effect. Those in our immediate family were either too old or too young to be in the service and involved in the fighting. We were all aware of the blue, silver and gold stars in our neighbor’s windows. Seeing them told a lot about the households and our debt to them. We honored those warriors and their families. When our neighbor married a young soldier before he was shipped out, my dad gave them our car to use for their short honeymoon. We did what we could for the men and women who served.
I saved every scrap of newspaper for collection and cleaned, removed the labels and flattened tin cans for recycling. My mother worked as an inspector at Briggs Body making wing tip fuel tanks for fighter aircraft. My dad frequently worked seven days a week and ten hours a day as a tool and die maker. He was an essential part of the war industry. We lived in Detroit, the Arsenal of Democracy.
We had no car between 1942 and 1948. During the war years it was due to rationing and after that we were used to it. We respected the president and had faith in our government to do the right thing. We obeyed the air raid wardens during occasional black outs and learned to get along with a little less knowing we were better off than anybody else in the world.
Whatever we have accomplished in our own lives has been affected by the way our parents raised us. Their generation has been called the Greatest. It was later given the name G.I. generation. I prefer the Greatest. It was the challenges our parents’ generation faced and conquered that paved the way for us.
Thank you, Mom and Dad.
By Savvy Senior
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?