'Take a bow, GI! Take a bow, little guy! The superman of tomorrow lies at the feet of you common men of this afternoon!'
from On a Note of Triumph by Norman Corwin
To edit a newspaper in Levittown on Veterans Week is a privilege. Because veterans pioneered this community, one feels a part of their experience. Moreover, since the uncle of this editor was a veteran, having fought in Vietnam, I feel a kinship with the men and women who fought to preserve my rights as a citizen and a journalist.
But the meaning of what they fought for doesn't reach only to the battlefield in Asia, Europe or the Persian Gulf. Nor is it limited to the political stage, whether it's Washington, Albany, Mineola or Hempstead. In Levittown, how we honor freedom, family, faith and justice determines the quality of tyhe ideals for which our veterans fought.
Family is key to that. If you look at both page-three news stories this week, one about meteorologist Joe Rao of Levittown and the other about a new group trying to bring family values to children at St. Bernard's Parish, you see the importance of adults passing down bedrock guidelines for a well-lived life.
With the guidance Rao received from his grandfather, he became a successful weatherman and astronomer. With the combined determination of committee members of St. Bernard's more children will have the chance to learn values at a young age, and keep them throughout the turbulent years of adolescence, college and early career.
The GI Levittowners, and others who fought World War II were average people. This was the common man's war, and our success abroad led us to want to make things better at home. Our country now has more potential to live the ideals of its forefathers. But how we reach that goal depends on how much we allow each other to live those ideals in our own lives.
The big tests may come on a battlefield far away, but day in and day out, the true test comes at home, in the office, on the street, right here, right now.