Given that all my blogs are on much the same subject at the moment, it’s hard to know, without checking, whether I am writing stuff I have already written. So apologies to my loyal reader for the inadvertent use of recycled material. But it’s worth reiterating one salient point: if the current generation was around in 1939, we’d have surrendered to Hitler on the first day of the war.
When I refer to this generation, I refer to anyone born after, say, 1930 because the generations before understood what it meant to be loyal to your friends and to make sacrifices.
As so often, I go back to my father, Anthony Johansen, who was born in 1929 and, aged 15, sailed the Liberty ships across the North Atlantic, dodging shoals of U-boats in order to bring much-needed supplies to desperate Brits. This he did not long after almost losing his life when the Luftwaffe dropped a bomb which landed just outside the school classroom. This is what his generation did as a matter of course.
Anthony left us in 2011 and I can only guess what he would be thinking as those in the country was born in fight not a common enemy but for a pack of toilet rolls. It goes against everything the people who fought and died so that we could be free.
His self-penned obituary stated that he was “a doer, intolerant of whining, incompetence (and) pretentiousness” and I can vouch for every word of that. And he was certainly a doer in life, achieving by hard work and his intellectual brilliance two distinct but highly successful careers. Unlike his oldest son, he never worried about the things he could not change in life and instead concentrated on those things he could. My guess is that he would be disgusted by the actions of the actions of panic-stricken panic buyers. The fear these people feel at trying to secure a pack of toilet rolls is nothing compared to almost being killed by a German bomb or U-boat.
It’s as if we have forgotten Remembrance and why we wear poppies. People compare what’s happening with Covid-19 with war, but it’s not really the same. The freedom our parents and grandparents fought for has to be worth more than adopting a me first attitude. That is not how heroes operate. It is the exact opposite of the world they fought to give us. Remember that when you load your supermarket trolley with things you don’t really need.