Boys in the Boat and Boys in the Normandy hedgerows – Citing attributes of our Greatest Generation

June 6th, 2014




My wife and I truly enjoyed group time with author Daniel James Brown this week. He shared his journey to reconstruct and celebrate the lives of nine college boys in their quest to gain Olympic Gold.  The event was part of his paperback book tour for an extraordinary work.

This author’s visit to San Diego, which  converged with the 70th Anniversary of Operation Overlord and the Normandy invasion, provides a superb chance to share five human themes of greatness. Human traits of a golden crew also fit the boys of the greatest generation that saved and changed our world in the last century:

1. Humility

 2. Oneness

  3. Perseverance

   4. Alchemy

    5. Underdog toughness.

Where do we get such boys?

In the Depression years, those rough and ready Huskies from Washington were underdogs time and again. Their years of blisters, blustery practices under a solemn coach, privation and poverty evolved 8 oarsmen and a cerebral coxswain  into an unified crew that ultimately stunned Hitler in Berlin.

In the World War that followed, teen and twenty-something boys from our great country tapped their inner strengths, sense of duty /honor and camaraderie to ultimately defeat Axis Powers.  Gratefully, Hitler lost in both stories to our boys.

Powerful stuff – yes?

Both the sport of rowing and our world benefited from boys that gave a sport and global conflict their all.

Bless ’em.



About davidefrost

A Vermont Yankee in Southern California.
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