For months, journalists have reported on the housing crisis, the collapse of financial institutions, the stock market’s freefall, the stimulus package, the AIG bonuses and the economy’s hemorrhaging of jobs. Things and places that are cold, vague, incomprehensible. But the real gut-wrenching stories of the economic downturn reach well beyond the offices of Wall Street or the corridors of power in Washington. You see, the collateral damage of this recession is felt by our smallest, and weakest, citizens – our children.
The Greatest Generation, as Tom Brokaw has called it, lived through the Great Depression and developed a foundation of family and core values that still support this nation today.
There are signs, we’re told, that perhaps the worst is behind us, that our economy is on the mend. I hope that’s the case. But a bull market or a bounce in our 401(k)s won’t heal Isabel’s sore feet or give children the health care and education they need. That has to come from caring people who realize that if we don’t start planting trees now, these innocent victims could become the Lost Generation desperately in need of some shade.