Born between two world wars, this generation that is known for their quiet and humble character is called the Greatest Generation. Although the number of members and this generation are dwindling down, there are still many survivors with common characteristics. Some of the most pivotal events in history were witnessed by this generation which helped form and shape them into the individuals that they are today.
The Greatest generation survived the World War II and the Great Depression, which was caused by the stock market crash in 1929 and lasted 10 years. During this time, the unemployment rate fell by 25%.
Here are 11 characteristics of the Greatest Generation
- Financially Cautious
Members of the Greatest Generation exercise caution when it comes to spending their money and many of them live in very modest homes even when they have impressive incomes. They are known for being very conservative when it comes to finances. There are many members of this generation that have amassed a fortune or have very healthy savings accounts.
This generation is known for displaying humility and modesty. You will find that veterans from this group will not discuss their accomplishments from their military days including the bravery they displayed. Many times their loved ones including family do not know of the accomplishments they made while serving their country. Often loved ones find out about commendations after their family member has passed away.
If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to spend time with the members from the Greatest Generation, you have more than likely noticed how disciplined they are as well as self-motivated and hardworking. In term of discipline, people of that generation show some differences.
The Greatest Generation” grew up during a time of economic hardship and experienced the challenges of the Great Depression and World War II. These formative experiences often instilled a strong sense of discipline, resilience, and the importance of hard work. The war effort required strict adherence to rules, protocols, and a sense of duty, which contributed to the perception of this generation as disciplined. On the other hand, Generation Z is the cohort that grew up immersed in the digital age, with abundant access to information and technology. They are known for their adaptability and multitasking abilities, navigating various digital platforms effortlessly. However, some critics argue that the constant exposure to technology and instant gratification can lead to shorter attention spans and a perceived lack of discipline.
Have you ever used the expression loyal to a fault? If so, you would be explaining a common trait among the Greatest Generation. They’re loyalty is expressed through the devotion they have for their country, job, friends and family.
It is far and few between that you will find a member of this generation that ignores their responsibility and does not stand up and take ownership for their task and duties. We could all take heed to this characteristic and have a higher standard of personal commitment. It is a great quality to take responsibility for your actions. The Greatest Generation rarely even thought about getting out of their responsibilities or not being held accountable for their actions.
When going to the polls, for decades you would find a lot of people from the Greatest Generation volunteering and taking care of voting needs. The youngest members are in their 90s now so I wouldn’t look for them to be at the polls. The members of this generation took their civic duties very seriously and they played a pivotal role in shaping nations. There are few if any members born in this generation that has contempt for the law, authority or the U.S flag. They defended our country and had a devoted love for what they felt was the greatest place on earth, the United States of America.
The Greatest Generation is not one that you will find wasting a lot of money. They learned to manage their finances more than any other generation because they lived during the Great Depression and experienced wartime rationing. Their food and other supplies was often very scarce and they had to find a way to get by. This generation had to avoid unnecessary expenditures in order to survive. They are neither embarrassed nor proud of how they had to live. It was simply how they had to deal with what was going on during those times.
- Martyrs or Sacrificial
The Greatest Generation may have developed the characteristics of being sacrificial or martyrs because of the events surrounding the time they were born. Many that fought in World War II lost one or multiple limbs and often their lives. Since the war was all-encompassing, individuals who were not in the war made many sacrifices in their daily living by allocating and sharing what they had and sometimes even doing without basic necessities. The Greatest Generation learned how to pull together to make the world a better place and make the best of their situations.
- Committed and Faithful
If there has ever been a generation that was committed and faithful it is the Greatest Generation! Few people will have the opportunity to be acquainted with someone that’s been married for 50,60 or 70 years because it just doesn’t happen anymore. Members of this generation knew how to secure a job for 30 or 40 plus years from which they would retire. They were thankful and grateful to have a job and a steady paycheck and did not look for the next great opportunity. Their sense of stick-to-itiveness was unwavering.
- Women Became Crucial
When the men of this generation went off to war, women became more crucial than ever because they needed to earn a living in order to run their households and be able to survive. Women of the Greatest Generations began to work in factories where their husbands were working prior to the war. There were also other factories and jobs that women had to obtain in order for the men at war to survive. They made uniforms for the war and prepared various packages that had to be sent to the men that were defending the country. Women made many sacrifices while their husbands were absent from the home.
After being a part of or witnessing one of the greatest catastrophes of economic times, this generation went to work raising their families and building homes. Home ownership increased by 16% from 46% before the war to 62% by 1960 which helped stabilize and grow the economy. This generation instilled in their children the value of education and one might say that they constructed the foundation that made the United States great! They demonstrated solid work ethic and made themselves worthy in every profession you can imagine such as welders, teachers and carpenters. This generation put a man on the moon!
Today, the surviving members of the Greatest Generation would be over 100 years old and considered centenarians. It is estimated that there are over 340,000 centenarians living in the world And they believe that 75,000 to 95,000 of those centenarians are living in the United states. They believe that over 2,000 members of the Greatest Generation die every month so they are diminishing quickly. If you have a member of this generation in your life or one happens to cross your path, take the opportunity of a lifetime and get to know them as they are a walking history book! Always remember and take the time to thank these heroes when you encounter a member of the Greatest Generation and on Veteran’s Day!
FAQs About the Greatest Generation
- Who are “The Greatest Generation”?
The Greatest Generation” refers to the cohort of individuals who were born between 1901 and 1927, and they came of age during World War II and the Great Depression.
- Why are they called “The Greatest Generation”?
They earned this title due to their remarkable resilience, courage, and sacrifices during a time of global conflict and economic hardship. Their contributions played a crucial role in shaping the world we live in today.
- What challenges did “The Greatest Generation” face?
The Greatest Generation” faced the challenges of the Great Depression, World War II, and post-war reconstruction. They experienced economic hardships, rationing, and the loss of loved ones in the war.
- What significant historical events did “The Greatest Generation” witness?
The Greatest Generation” witnessed pivotal events such as the stock market crash of 1929, the rise of fascism, the attack on Pearl Harbor, the D-Day invasion, and the development of the atomic bomb.
- What values and qualities define “The Greatest Generation”?
A5: “The Greatest Generation” is often characterized by their strong work ethic, patriotism, resilience, selflessness, and commitment to family and community.
- How did “The Greatest Generation” contribute to society?
A6: They contributed to society in various ways, including their service in the military, their work in essential industries, their efforts in rebuilding nations after the war, and their role in advancing civil rights and gender equality.
- What role did women play in “The Greatest Generation”?
A7: Women played a significant role during this era, taking on jobs traditionally held by men while they were at war. They contributed to the workforce, supported the war effort, and paved the way for women’s rights advancements.
- How did “The Greatest Generation” influence future generations?
A8: “The Greatest Generation” influenced future generations by instilling values of hard work, resilience, and sacrifice. They provided the foundation for social and economic progress, shaping the world we know today.
- How has technology evolved during “The Greatest Generation’s” lifetime?
A9: “The Greatest Generation” witnessed significant technological advancements, such as the introduction of television, the development of computers, the space race, and the birth of the internet.
- What is the legacy of “The Greatest Generation”?
A10: The legacy of “The Greatest Generation” is one of honor and inspiration. Their sacrifices and contributions serve as a reminder of the strength of the human spirit and the power of unity in times of adversity.
In conclusion, “The Greatest Generation” represents a remarkable cohort of individuals who faced immense challenges and made significant contributions during one of the most pivotal periods in history. Their resilience, courage, and unwavering determination in the face of adversity earned them the title of “The Greatest Generation.”
This generation experienced the hardships of the Great Depression and witnessed the horrors of World War II. They demonstrated an extraordinary work ethic, selflessness, and patriotism as they rebuilt nations, advanced civil rights, and laid the foundation for a better future.
“The Greatest Generation” not only made sacrifices on the battlefield but also on the home front. Women played a crucial role during this era, breaking barriers and reshaping societal norms. The values instilled by this generation, including strong family bonds, community engagement, and a commitment to hard work, continue to influence and inspire subsequent generations.