Looking up at the flight deck of the USS Midway museum from the street in San Diego

June is a month of weddings, the start of summer and a season of travel. It is also a month when the world hung in balance many years ago as the world united to fight a common menace. D-Day occurs this month, and there are still veterans who help us to celebrate that beginning of victory.

This year I find the day a reminder that the world has faced great challenges, struggled and eventually overcome to them in order to march forward carrying a light for future generations. As we march forward, we continue to build tools that increase our ability to help each other and reduce our fear in the outcomes of the world.
Sometimes these tools are misused, yet again this is not new. When man discovered how to use fire, it warmed his nights and gave him light. It also created the potential for destroying the environment and people around him. Farming increased food security but it also led to an increase in population that depended on the larger food supply. If the rains didn’t come or winter came too soon, starvation could occur. The publishing press allowed for the greater distribution of books, including those with controversial ideas. Each innovation and change brought benefits and problems as more people used them.

Looking up at control tower of USS Midway museum and the US Flag that is flying from the tower

Our generation faces a challenge with our latest tools, computers, our dependence on them and the misuse of them in communicating with others. I believe that we will find a way to wield these tools responsibly but in the meantime there will be mistakes. These mistakes have a cost and may delay other innovations that could help us. At times humans are very much like children, curious and starting new activities without too much thought. When they recognize danger, they attempt to stop but this doesn’t always stop the harm from the activity.
Elders can help to provide wisdom but their caution can seem slow and unrewarding to younger people. As young people keep pushing for new things, they pay a price and the human race advances in our accomplishments. People seem willing to pay the price for these new tools, just as our ancestors have paid the price in war, famine and disease, to keep pushing for a better way of life.

View of planes and radar tower on the USS Midway museum

I also see these types of challenging times as the ones that build the great leaders, inventors and personalities that lead us to the light. We need challenge in order to improve our skills, our abilities for better managing ourselves. Hard times, not easy, create the heroes we want to admire. The hard part is the patience required while we live through these difficult times. Memories of events like D-Day are reminders that people are willing to pay the price that is sometimes required for our progress. Enjoy your summer.

Photos taken by J.T. Harpster. Prints of selected photos can be purchased at https://shellcreek.redbubble.com/

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