To the Editor:
Living to a ripe old age is a privilege.
Sometimes you might hear people saying they hate the thought of growing old. I think we should be grateful to have that privilege.
During the Memorial Day observance, the programs on PBS honoring our fallen heroes, remembering the anniversary of D-Day, the Ken Burns TV series, “The War,” I thought about the fact that these brave young men and women did not have the luxury of reaching the age to be called senior citizens.
“The War” should be viewed again and again by those who send our young men to other lands to fight and die for our country. Maybe they’d stop settling differences in this inhumane manner.
War does not seem to settle anything, given how many we have had since the dawn of time.
One line spoken in “The War,” stands out in my mind. A soldier cried out, “God help us; come yourself, don’t send Jesus. This is no place for children.” And yet those doing the fighting were just children in the prime of their lives.
In a few short weeks, we will be observing the anniversary of another war where young men died to give us our independence that we so often take for granted.
Gray hair, wrinkles and faltering steps go with getting on in years, but it’s better than not being able to walk at all because you left your legs on a battlefield, or died too young to have your hair turn gray or wrinkles to form on your youthful face.
About aging: When I was 23, a 16-year old waitress where I often dined asked me how old I was. When I told her, she asked,
“How come you never got married?”
Imagine that! She considered me a has-been. To the young, 40 is old age, but to those of us past that landmark, it is youth.
This won’t come as news to anyone, but you can’t fight getting older. Facelifts, cosmetics and other devices can make us appear younger, but the fact remains that we are what we are. The sooner we accept aging, the happier we’ll be.
If you are in the sunset years of your life, thank a soldier for that privilege.