The challenges that face our generation are complex and numerous.
This moment in history has given us a broken health care system and a newfound awareness of the energy crisis.
Our brothers and sisters are on the front lines of two wars in a region on the other side of the world that has been fighting for more than a century. The rest of us are on the front lines of an economic upheaval that threatens our way of life. While the country struggles, blame is distributed and fingers are pointed, but to us, there is no time for blame. We have this time to begin our life’s work.
Our grandchildren and great grandchildren won’t look upon Tom Brokaw’s WWII era heroes quite the same way we do. The struggles of that time period will seem a world away. It is our history that they will read as years turn to decades and the first-hand accounts of the sacrifices made become pages in high school textbooks. A great tragedy, this loss, but a marked and not uncommon transition as the continuation of a culture shifts.
It will be our success and failure that they, our posterity, will recognize; our action to improve upon the world that we have been given that will speak to our legacy.
Already, our peers are making the changes we need. Organizing to fight hunger and eliminate diseases. We will demand a clean earth and forgo immediate wealth with the understanding that the long-term value will be far greater than we can imagine.
In this pinnacle of our soon to be history, we will stand strong. We will remind the generation preceding us that the earth is in capable hands. We will teach those still to come that this gift of freedom is not to be taken for granted.
We are a generation that will treat the ill. All of them. We are a generation that will define a system of environmentally feasible and renewable energy. We are a generation that will bring peace and restructure the economy to better weather the squalls and celebrate the gains.
The challenges are great and many, but they are not unfamiliar. For centuries Americans have shown that neither obstacle nor defeat, nor fear cannot be vanquished. This is our time, our opportunity. We will be the era our grandchildren will read about, the generation that they will look to as models of integrity and grace.
We will be the next greatest generation.
[original-posting siteurl=”http://www.fsutorch.com/” sitename=”Ferris State Torch” posturl=”http://www.fsutorch.com/2009/10/21/opinions/letter-from-the-editor-the-next-greatest-generation/”]
The content above has been revised and expanded from the original publication.