My wife, Connie, and I proudly announce the graduation this spring of three grandchildren :
-Casey Elaine Downie, a former Hill School graduate,
graduated from Franklin and Marshall College (F&M), Lancaster, Pa.
-Evan Alexander Downie, Casey's brother, graduated from Pottstown High School. He will attend college at Gwynedd Mercy College in the fall.
-Connor James Kurtz graduated from Daniel Boone High School. Connor received name recognition when he was elected as a School Board member late last year becoming the youngest member serving in the state. He will attend college in Washington, DC. in the fall.
Hope has a future in how adaptive the young treat what this World has in store for them. No longer is normal the World my generation grew up in. The warm fuzzy blanket of knowing my generation would do better than my parents did no longer seems to be the case today. Steeled, as we were, by the Great Depression sandwiched between two World Wars our energies were channeled to build and rebuild our country first the rest of the planet when we finished at home. Completing the work we anticipated fizzled out as heavy manufacturing moved overseas and China began showing its muscle.
Sadly, decade after decade, all over Asia, the Persian Gulf, now Northern Africa conflicts stir the militants of the World and bankrupts it in the process. The United States acting as sherif to the World spends borrowed money to send armies to patrol each hot spot in hostile countries.
Somehow our young must grapple with the new normal, that our country which once produced what the World wanted, is now a financial casino betting borrowed money on Ponzi schemes guaranteed by tax payer dollars. A house of cards has little chance to remain standing.
My generation viewed our place in the World from the history we learned. The strength of a cowboy, of a trapper, a Paul Bunion logger, a John Henry hammering in spikes on the railroad all were heroes. Then came the GI showing off our military might.
What is the image today ? Is it of suits in a board room or at cocktail parties or aboard some posh yacht ? Is sweat in the current equation or smoke and steam vapor ?
Hope must have a basis in fact. So, in my mind, the young must read and learn the history of our nation with a new paradigm in mind. Returning to my time is not the answer, but understanding the human principles behind our history will continue no matter what generation is in charge now. Hope, unlike fear, rests eternal.
Ronald C. Downie