They are now 75 years old to 92 years old. They are the grandparents, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents still with us today.
They were born into a world which reeled from the Great Depression during their youth, and as children they saw suffering and uncertainty in those times and tremendous atrocities during World War II.
They grew up with very limited means in many cases, and for that reason they were known for just keeping their heads down and working hard, thus "he Silent Generation.
Comprising the majority of our elderly today, they are now the generation most at risk from COVID 19.
They've overcome a great many challenges in their long and eventful lives and now they're hunkering down to survive a pandemic.
They've seen worse, and they've overcome it with persistence, strength, hope, frugality, and hard work. They've seen battle in Korea and Vietnam. They've seen stock market crashes. They've seen flu epidemics. They know how to deal with suffering and uncertainty. They now have a new enemy -- a tiny virus to which humanity has no natural immunity.
Thank God we still have so many of them with us, because we still have so much to learn from their wisdom.
Thankfully, we also still have some with us from the Greatest Generation, those born up through 1927, but their numbers are now very few.
The Greatest Generation literally saved America in World War II with huge sacrifices at every level possible, then the Silent Generation rebuilt and carried America forward into global dominance. All of us here today owe these two wonderful generations more than we can ever repay them.
To those in the Silent Generation, and to the far fewer with us in the Greatest Generation, I thank you and salute you.
America owes you very much.