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"Lost" Within Only Two Generations."

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Within Only Two Generations

by Dana Duane



Imagine, for a moment, a world wide event so urgent, so powerful and so dangerous that its rage was sufficient to, literally, pull everyone “out” of their day to day lives and be torn from their families, dreams & hopes. Now imagine that his event became the personification of evil and all were commanded to drink from its cup.  Women, children, grandparents and newlyweds, gypsies, Jews, and Christians, the brilliant as well as the not-so bright, the rich and especially, the poor … for no one had immunity.


This evil demanded the attention of men and the sacrifice of their very lives. This darkness exploded up over the horizon in the West while ulcerating among our brothers and sisters to the East. The First World War, also called the Great War - The War to End All Wars; turned out to only be the appetizer to a much larger entree to come.


The apostle Paul, in his passionate letter to the struggling Christians in Rome, speaks of ‘how’ the hearts of men, when cut off from God, turn to envy, murder, inventors of [all kinds] of evil … and the world witnessed this from the ‘ovens’ throughout the forests of Poland and Germany as the ashes of God’s chosen people drifted painfully  up and away on the winds.  As mighty King Nebuchadnezzar once did, now a “king” of a new Babylon tried to erase any trace of the once mighty people. The people from whence God, incarnate, would come in order to offer eternal salvation.


As great armies were amassed to fight along the coasts and in the air and across the farmlands and oceans the tides and streams turned red as from a chapter of the apostle John’s Revelation. More than [conservative estimates] 65-85 million men poured out their souls to free the world of this darkness’ grip. (These numbers include not the innocent lives of women & children).  So great was this fight that a whole generation of men and women, forever, became known as “The Greatest Generation.”


This brings me to the reason for this post; Edmund Burk said, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.” Growing up in the heartland of America and seeing all the veterans, on holidays, and the ‘old guys’ all hanging out at the local V.F.W. ,I had always assumed that the terrors of WWII would not, nor could not, ever be forgotten, or lost to the memoirs of time.  Yet, last Sunday I found myself in complete & utter shock when speaking with a group of young adults here in Guatemala.


A mere three hour flight from Miami, even shorter from Texas or California, were a couple of dozen (future) leaders who hadn’t even heard of the Holocaust, the propaganda machine of the Third Reich nor the Empire of Japan or the “Little Boy,” nor his brother, “Fat Man,” who between them, instantly vaporized 128,000 Japanese civilians and tormented another 120,000+ with burns and cancers in the ensuing months!   Granted, Guatemala has recently come out of a 36 year civil war (which, incidentally affected very few who lived outside of the indigenous villages in the mountains), and they experienced their own hoard of war crimes and even had a general convicted of “Crimes Against Humanity” [Rios Mott].


Yet, I wonder how many back in the States, under 24, live under this cloud of ignorance? I wonder if such a close neighbor to the United States, and [who] make up such a high number of new immigrants will not spread this dangerous lack of an awareness of history.  For the past year I have preached all over Guatemala that, as we see Western Europe today, that will become the United States in less than five years…referring to its secularization. And what/where America is today will be what will be Guatemala in no time at all. But, perhaps, in this instance, I’ve been dead wrong.  For the Guatemalan youth of today represent the (near) future youth of the United States…and what will that entail for the rest of the World?

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