Monday, June 13, 2005

I Am A Traditionalist

Just call me old-fashioned. I was born in the late 50's, grew up with Carolyn and John-John (God rest his soul), feared a nuclear holocaust as much as the boogie man on Halloween, attended a parochial school, attended church, played outdoors and watched very little t.v. (still don't). Elvis's pelvis was taboo, the Beatles weren't acceptable by my parents until they were nearly history, and record singles could be cut off the back of cereal boxes.

God was everything, country was next to everything, and family was the cement for it all. My Dad was a WWII vet and had followed Eisenhower from Africa to Germany. He left with a full head of hair and came back 4 years later with a halo (of hair - I didn't say he was a saint, although in my eyes he probably was the next best thing to it on earth). He was a member of the American Legion and every Memorial Day we decorated the cemetery and he was always on the honor guard that fired the guns.

As a kid I had a simple life - we never locked the doors, I played outside until dark, there weren't any creepy neighbors, and everyone helped each other out in times of trouble. The scariest thing that I can remember was the tunnel that ran from our church to our school (which we used for a fallout shelter in the old nuclear attack drills).

Oh, for the simpler times... My father was a Democrat (oh, my!) and politics became important only when John Kennedy was elected and he died. He never did like Lyndon Johnson, and he never said (in my presence) why. But what interest to a kid is politics anyhow?

I'm not going to go through my next 40 years and bore you to death (yippee). I am just going to make a few quick comments and be done with it.

I am a traditionalist. It is defined as:

Merriam-Webster Online
Main Entry: tra·di·tion·al·ism
Pronunciation: tr&-'dish-n&-"li-z&m, -'di-sh&-n&l-"i-
Function: noun
1 : adherence to the doctrines or practices of a tradition
2 : the beliefs of those opposed to modernism, liberalism, or radicalism
- tra·di·tion·al·ist /-list, -ist/ noun or adjective
- tra·di·tion·al·is·tic /-"dish-n&-'lis-tik, -"di-sh&-n&l-'is-/ adjective

I grew up in an era that God, country, and family were the only things of real importance in life. That part of my life has never changed and never will. I don't feel that I have done an injustice to my children for raising them with those same traditions that I grew up with. My oldest son served his country like his grandpa did. The war may have changed, but the reasons were still the same. He didn't like it any better than his grandpa did - they both will tell you in a heartbeat that war is hell - but, they both knew that it was the right thing to do, will tell you that, and that it is nothing to brag about. Getting either one of them to talk about their experiences is like pulling teeth.

I can't imagine going to war. I can't imagine what it was like for them. But, what I can imagine was that for both of them they kept God close to their hearts through it all. And they have shown me, as very few can, what it really means to believe. Believing in God, in country and in family - yes, it is a tradition in our family to be traditionalists. (And, it feels good and right to be one).

posted by Is It Just Me? at 11:35 PM