The Last Of A Dying Breed

We must look upon ourselves now as the Last Generation of the Cold War
Children who were Young when the Berlin Wall
Fell and remember Gorbachev as a figurehead more than a figurehead
And saw the Kremlin chew down the Soviet
Flag and Replace the Russian flag as Russia and CIS and all
Who were the first to have
Lives not shaped by the Red East and the last to know East
Reason backwards as the
Men met near Minsk. In our last coming-of-age, defined at birth
By Star Wars and a
Hostage crisis and
Reganmoics and now by
A less measurable war in the dawn and dark of our last
Which is truly last, not first. We saw first and only the Challenge
Fail and
Here the lone superpower progress. We never ducked beneath our desks
And practiced bunkering down at night. We were as simple to kill as any
But our chances at War were less and less than that of our fathers, who
Saw through more than we did.
We were
Children that pointed out Iraq and Iran on maps and mourned
Tiananmen when the Ayatollah passed (rejoicing, we, though we knew it not
We were mere children). We had fathers fly
Planes over Baghdad over Somalia
Or Afghanistan, grew louder by
The sound of bombers out of the
Local Air Base
Carrying out the older children of
Cuba older still of McCarthy it is our
Grandfather's Vietnam now; Korea
While in Crimea we knew of
A fallen Liberal
Hard-liner each night impressed upon by the burning Kuwaiti wells and a few
Places: Bosnia. Kosovo. Chechnya. Born into a fifty-year struggle out of That as
Soon and in 1991 we did not know what the relief was really for but
There we were as children to find it and feel it and realize what never again
Would be realized. Now
We see a
Changed world that is becoming
The relief of past generations and the burden of our own when really
We were born to burdens lifted by chance at birth
Is sleeping Red China squabbling over Taiwan and then the Deserts
Call forth
A further threat than what we were to have inherited. We awoke into life
As the remnants of a greater Time. The saviors have turned to dust now and how
Few of them are left? The sacrificial lambs are turning fifty. Gray hair and fading
Memories. And we grew into a tenseness that instead of an explosion became
A gradual shifting into this that is
Peace. We became heirs to the world of our fathers and now the world
That we shape will not be shaped by us but by those who lived when
We were but children.

And how many of us may reflect as years turn into years increasingly far from
Ours the symbolism of knowing no fear until the time when fear fell beneath us?
We are not the children of any millennium. That happened far into our future and
Making no past we look as if we are the new lords of this earth. Far from it, really.
We are the Last of a dying Breed, not the
First of a new one