‘Greatest generation’ quickly vanishing
News from Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

Thomas Broderick, who lost his vision to a bullet during World War II and went on to own an insurance agency and counsel other veterans with vision impairments, is gone now.

So, too, are Daphne Cavin, who lost her young husband, Raymond Kelley, to the war; Johnny Holmes, who endured the racism of fellow soldiers while fighting the Nazis; and Wesley Ko, a glider platoon leader who helped liberate a concentration camp.

In all, according to a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette survey, about 71 percent of the battlefield and home-front heroes Tom Brokaw profiled in “The Greatest Generation” have died since the best-seller’s publication 16 years ago. It’s a poignant reminder that the “greatest generation” is also a vanishing generation.

“It makes me sad,” said Nancy Pitts, Cavin’s daughter by a second marriage, who recalled her mother’s Memorial Day custom of putting flowers on both husbands’ graves. Cavin died in 2010.

Still spry and hitting the gym at 92, Claudine “Scottie” Lingelbach, a Kansas resident included in the book for her wartime service to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said she has sometimes wondered what became of the others who shared their stories.

“How many in the book are still living?” she recalled asking Mr. Brokaw at an event both attended. “He said he didn’t know.”

Of the 16 million or so Americans who served in WWII, only a…………… continues on Pittsburgh Post Gazette

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