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Sacramento Baby Boomers: Our Common Heritage - "The War"

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We Baby Boomers share a common heritage. We are the product of the "Greatest Generation." Our parents suffered the deprivations of the Great Depression, fought and won "The War," and went on to raise us. Looking back we see that the Greatest Generation helped to define us.

We grew up at a time when stories at the kitchen table were often about "The War." Many of us had cousins or uncles that we would never know - men who were among those 400,000 soldiers killed or 30,000 missing from "The War."

Our parents' wedding pictures were often of a young soldier in uniform and his young bride. Our mothers told stories of working wartime jobs that went away with the advent of peace. While our fathers generally didn't share stories of combat, we often heard of deeply treasured wartime friendships.

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Many of our neighbors and parents' friends were former servicemen. My parents' Sacramento friends included Air Force pilots, naval officers, tank commanders, glider pilots, island-hopping Marines, veterans of Patton's Army, and Pearl Harbor survivors.

Sacramento was a hub of the war. My father took advanced two-engine flight training at the air base that I now have my office by - Mather. His wartime service ended at McClellan Air Force Base as a General's Aide and test pilot.

Sacramento's population boomed as War veterans returned to civilian life and chose the warmth of Sacramento to the cold winters of the Midwest. The number of residents in Sacramento tripled between the beginning of the War and its end.

We Sacramento Baby Boomers have much in common. As our parents and grandparents once shared their stories with us - stories that helped define who they were - we now share stories with our children and grandchildren that help to define who we are.

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