Celebrating … “The Greatest Generation”

Published 10:18 am Saturday, February 27, 2010

FRANKLIN—The Village at Woods Edge recently paid tribute to the “Greatest Generation.”

The Greatest Generation is a term used to describe the generation who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression and then went on to fight in World War II and make a contribution to the war effort by being actively involved in creating products for the war.

Residents enjoyed reviewing and reflecting from “The Greatest Generation” series narrated by Tom Brokow. Discussion leading into and following each segment was meaningful, and allowed residents a time for reflection. An ever-growing display of residents’ memorabilia filled the Great Room as the study progressed. Photographs of military planes, bridal portraits and soldiers were displayed along with awards, medals, 1930s bonds and letters from the 1940s. Kitchen and farming utensils added a bit of everyday living to the collection.

Focusing on the military presence in the Greatest Generation, residents hit the road and traveled to Hampton Roads Naval Museum, located on the second floor of Norfolk’s Nauticus. A docent met the group and took them through an abbreviated timeline of the history of the fleet in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. Lunch was enjoyed in the Outtakes Café.

Wanting to pass on the 1930s and 1940s experiences shared by our gentlemen residents, scouts from Franklin’s Troop 17 held their meeting at The Village. After conducting a brief bit of business, the scouts, their leaders and parents visited with several of our residents. Scouts asked specific questions pertaining to what life was like for the residents prior to World War II.

Residents were questioned as to what training they had before combat, what communication they had with family and if they continued relationships with fellow soldiers. It was wonderful to realize several of our residents were scouts themselves from Troop 17.

We viewed several movies, including “Amelia” in recognition of the 1930s and 1940s generation.

As the week transpired, residents and staff members readied themselves for the finale. A social and dinner featured several “guests” including Shirley Temple, Harpo Marx, Amelia Earhart and Jackie Robinson. The staff recognized the importance of pop culture by inviting the infamous “Cat in the Hat” in recognition of Dr. Seuss’ historical debut in the mid-1930s. A 1940s gangster and a jobless man wearing a Depression-era sandwich board were treated to an evening of big band music and fine dining.

Everyone agreed the week long tribute to the Greatest Generation was definitely one to remember.