Guest Column: The Resurrection of the Baby Boomer – 2018 by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC

Sue DeGregorio-Rosen

 

The Baby Boomer, we were the generation that was never going to get old. After all, we were the generation that on the night of Thursday, Nov. 13, 1969, the “March Against Death”was born. Washington, D.C., had never seen more protesters than any single event in its history. Attendance was higher, by tens of thousands, than at the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington. And regardless of the name that, nearly 50 years later, may appear as ‘curious” , the march was actually about a very scary moment in history.

The deaths we were protesting was the result of a war, a war known as Viet Nam.

As TIME reported in the Nov. 21, 1969, issue:

Disciplined in organization, friendly in mood, [the march] started at Arlington National Cemetery, went past the front of the White House and on to the west side of the Capitol. Walking single file and grouped by states, the protesters carried devotional candles and 24-in. by 8-in. cardboard signs, each bearing the name of a man killed in action or a Vietnamese village destroyed by the war. The candles flickering in the wind, the funereal rolling of drums, the hush over most of the line of march—but above all, the endless recitation of names of dead servicemen and gutted villages as each marcher passed the White House —were impressive drama: “Jay Dee Richter” . . . “Milford Togazzini” . . . “Vinh Linh, North Viet Nam” . . . “Joseph Y. Ramirez.” At the Capitol, each sign was solemnly deposited in one of several coffins, later conveyed back up Pennsylvania Avenue in the Saturday march.

  • We honored those that we had lost. We honored those that were drafted, children, as would be noted in today’s world, were sent to a foreign land, to fight a war that had no reason . While we might be “over the hill”, we said and accomplished things that will carry us out to pasture and still allow us the opportunity to continue to leave our mark as the generation that wanted and fought for change.
  • We are older, now, and with age comes a serene wisdom, a wisdom one can share with future generations.

We always talked about making the world a better place. We were the century’s most innovative & thought-provoking youth. But we were careless about our fiscal, economic, and environmental journeys. For all of our wisdom, our inaction in our environment would prove disastrous to future generations.

  • We weren’t total idiots. We did continue to initiate large social and economic paths for women, minorities, and people with disabilities. Those groups have gained rights that will never be reversed. Women can grow up to be lawyers or lead a major corporation. African-Americans can grow up to become president. We were responsible for the creation of Apple and Microsoft. We made the StarWars We even balanced the federal budget for a short time before the turn of the century.
  • We made medicine, Cannabis, we encouraged our children to legalize this plant that we used to get high. We knew it worked.

We were the first generation that populated integrated schools. We turned on, tuned in and dropped out. We went to Woodstock, closing down a major roadway in NY state to celebrate in the pouring rain “3 Days of Peace & Music” and saw Jimi Hendrix play his version of “The Star Spangled Banner” on an electric guitar. It was a beautiful celebration. No violence, just peace.

We refuse to be forgotten……….Here are some interesting facts that I came across.

  • Baby Boomers make up about 26 percent of the population. California has the highest population of Baby Boomers (9 million), followed by Texas (5.6 million), New York (5.1 million), Florida (4.6 million) and Pennsylvania (3.4 million). (55places.com)
  • On December 31, 2029, the last of the Boomers will turn 65.The 65+ population segment is projected to double to 71.5 million by 2030 and grow to 86.7 million by 2050. Possibly more than 80 million will be on Medicare and Social Security. (CNN)
  • There’s a widely paraded myth that Baby Boomers have a lot of wealth. They don’t. Sure, they have more discretionary income than any other age group. However, in 2007, before the housing bubble burst, older households (between 55 and 64) had a median net worth of $266,000. By 2010, that shrunk dramatically (33%) to $179,400. (Governing.com)
  • Boomers financially support their adult children. Almost 60% of Baby Boomer parents provide financial support to their adult children, including living expenses, medical bills and paying off loans. (Forbes)
  • Baby Boomers are the Web’s largest constituency. They make up over 30% of US internet users. They spend 16 hours per week watching T.V. and 19 hours per week online. (Google/Ipsos)
  • Search and email are the top two online activities among Boomers. A DMN3 survey of online Boomers found that 96.1% of use search, while 94.8% of Boomers use email. They often use the Internet to research health and wellness information, as well as plan and book leisure trips. (DMN3)
  • Boomers contribute more positive online product reviews  than other generational groups. They contribute 45% of the total online product opinions and assign 3% more five-star ratings. (Bazaarvoice)
  • Boomers love Facebook. An astonishing 84.9% of Boomers said they use Facebook. (DMN3)
  • Boomers are comfortable with online transactions. Almost 9 out of 10 Boomers have made an online purchase. (eMarketer)
  • Baby Boomers are confident, independent and self-reliant.This generation grew up in an era of reform and believe they can change the world. They went from Hippie to Yuppie. Baby Boomers understand that the world doesn’t owe them anything. They’re not afraid of confrontation and will not hesitate to challenge authority and status quo. (About.com)
  • So, before you blow us off as the aging self-centered hippie generation, the generation that may be a drain on Social Security and all of the other rights we have paid into, remember that we are loving and caring, and we meant well, just as the generations of today do and please read the slogan I have posted below. I believe it covers all of our people, we are American, and we are proud, no matter what age category we fall into, we will survive.