Congressman: WWII vets still have lessons to teach youth

Published 7:21 pm Monday, May 28, 2018

By Ken Stickney

Some contemporary youngsters have missed valuable lessons born in hard work, sacrifice, and even from short-term defeats, U.S. Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, said Monday.

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Speaking on Memorial Day to about 250 people at Golden Triangle Veteran’s Memorial Park, he suggested the Greatest Generation, including World War II era veterans who helped save the world from Axis despots, then built post-war America into the world’s foremost enlightened power, have lots to teach today’s young people.

“We need to teach children about the values of the Greatest Generation,” Weber said. “We need to teach kids that the Greatest Generation built a country like the world has never seen.”

WWII-era people built the country on values, he said, such as respect for property and respect for life.

“Kids don’t understand sacrifice,” Weber said. He suggested young people get consolation trophies to spare them lessons learned by losing and don’t understand that there is value in trying and failing.

The Greatest Generation understood setbacks, he said, and when pressed to take on the Axis powers, “absolutely risked it all” to defeat them.

Weber said he has attended at least a half-dozen funerals of people killed at Santa Fe High School in this congressional district. Students and parents there, he said, are not calling for gun control.

“We don’t have a gun problem,” he said. “We have a respect problem.”

Weber said if he could he would return prayer to public schools, as well as the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance and corporal punishment.

He said the U.S. has suffered since the Supreme Court ruled in 1989 that states could not prohibit flag burning.

“If you want to burn Old Glory,” he said, “all I ask is that you wrap yourself in it first.”

After the program, Weber said it was too early to discuss legislation related to the May 18 school shooting in Santa Fe, which claimed 10 lives and left 13 people wounded.

He suggested that the point he made in his speech about children not learning lessons from setbacks can backfire on society. He said some children “come back to get even when they lose.” Others, he said, “fly airplanes into towers.”

The Veteran’s Memorial Park presentation was Weber’s second of the day. Earlier, he spoke at a ceremony in Beaumont.