Requiescat In Pace: George Mendonsa

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George Mendonsa has passed away at age 95.  Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts does the honors:

 

 

Who?  Him:

A man who was part of the American psyche as I grew up.  I was that generational bridge.  I’m old enough to have grown up hearing about That President on the Dollar, God Bless America, and of course that legendary Greatest Generation.  America was great, our heritage a blessing, and though we had our bad parts – as all civilizations do – our heart and soul was in the right place.

I’m young enough to have watched that be dismantled and destroyed.  Our racist founders, genocidal imperialists all, our evil and racist government, all white Americans who are necessarily all racist, our military industrial complex funneling money into our baby killing soldiers to oppress the world for oil, and a generation whose soldiers were probably no better than the Japanese or Nazis they fought.

But Mr. Mendonsa was from a different, saner and better time.  A generation that rose to the challenge and rescued the world from real, not made up or imagined, terrors.  Back then, Mr. Mendonsa expressed the exuberance and relief that came with the end to that most horrible of all wars. 

Today it would be a #MeToo moment.   Back then everyone smiled and rejoiced with him, even as they would mourn those hundreds of thousands who experienced the ultimate loss.  Today we’d have lawsuits and protests and social media warriors pushing to have him destroyed for being part of the great Evil Nation or the guilty gender; a generation accomplishing nothing but destroying the civilization it inherited, and justifying it through a near addiction to self-righteous contempt for doing anything but criticizing others.

Nonetheless, thank you Mr. Mendosa, for what you and your peers actually did in the real world.  You were better than us.  Perhaps we are your fault, I don’t know.  Maybe the greatest generation was the worst parents.  But for stopping the actual evils of the time, you rose to the occasion.  May God bless you and keep you, and give strength not only to your loved ones, but for the hurting country you leave behind.

 

Go here to comment.  Mendosa was a veteran of the Pacific and was home on leave.  Greta Zimmer Friedman passed away at age 92 in 2016.  She was working as a dental assistant at the time.  A Jewish refugee from Austria, both her parents were murdered in Nazi death camps.  She later married a World War II veteran of the Army Air Corps.  They are buried side by side in Arlington.

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3 Comments

  1. There is an exuberance and life to that image that one can’t help but feel is missing nowadays. A toast to George like all of our veterans, we are ever in your debt, may you never be forgotten.

    Part of me is chuckling a bit at the thought of Mendosa now recreating this photo at the pearly gates (to who I will leave to your imagination – maybe there’s even a line waiting).

  2. “There is an exuberance and life to that image that one can’t help but feel is missing nowadays.”

    Indeed. It is the joy of a man who knew now that he would survive the War, raise a family and grow old, though I doubt he ever thought that he would grow as old as he did. Better times than these in many, although not all, ways.

  3. And a joy in those about them that the men did return.

    When I see the debates over who or what it means to be “pro-life” nowadays, I can’t help but notice that in all the talk over it, there’s no mention of a gratitude towards living.

    Thank you Mr. Mendonsa for demonstrating that gratitude.

    (One final note for the pop culture fans, I had just bought this picture at a convention last month.)

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