Saluting Our Veterans


World War II was over. At last it was done.
Oh, how we celebrated. Was it ever fun.
Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines
In our spiffy dress uniforms flooded the scenes.

Pretty girls wearing gloves and cute little hats,
In high-heeled shoes rather than flats,
Welcomed us now wherever we'd go
On the streets, or in bars, or at the USO.

And when the band played, "Little Brown Jug,"
We'd laugh, and we'd flirt, and we'd jitterbug.
Never since then have we heard anyone sing
Like Sinatra, Dino, Ella, and Bing.

We were young, optimistic, and full of zest.
We were up for all challenges, for any test.
College days and so much more
Beckoned us now, and into it we tore.

And when those days on campus came to an end,
Onward we moved towards the road's next bend.
Then we got married to that girl we adored,
Got a job, and bought a house we could barely afford.

With children, with families, with friends, with delight
We kept surging forward with all of our might.
But the years kept passing, and then one day
I noticed that my hair was turning gray.

So what if I was a few years older?
I just ignored it like the pain in my shoulder.
I kept right on enjoying the world that we'd saved
From those tyrants so evil and depraved.

But now, faster and faster the years fly by,
And many of my dear pals have said, "Goodbye."
And even if today's world now considers us old,
They should have seen us when we were young and bold.

Fewer than a million of us now still march along,
But I'll remember us all, sixteen million strong.
I'll remember us all as World War II buddies,
Not as some out-of-date fuddy-duddies.

I'll remember that time when we went off to war,
And then returned to a world that was better than before.
I'll remember all those with whom I served,
"The Greatest Generation”? A title deserved.

Marv Levy
Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2001


The Pro Football Hall of Fame, aligned with the important mission to “Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values and Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE,” salute the Hall of Famers who have served in the military during times of war:

  • Marv Levy (World War II)
  • Sid Luckman (World War II)
  • Wellington Mara (World War II)
  • Gino Marchetti (World War II)
  • Cliff Battles (World War II)
  • Chuck Bednarik (World War II)
  • George McAfee (World War II)
  • John Blood McNally (World War II)
  • Wayne Milner (World War II)
  • Tony Canadeo (World War II)
  • Marion Motley (World War II)
  • Ernie Nevers (World War II)
  • Leo Nomellini (World War II)
  • Clarence Ace Parker (World War II)
  • Lou Creekmur (World War II)
  • Joe Perry (World War II)
  • Pete Pihos (World War II)
  • Art Donovan (World War II)
  • Bill Dudley (World War II)
  • Andy Robustelli (World War II)
  • Weeb Ewbank (World War II)
  • Tom Fears (World War II)
  • Dante Lavelli (World War II)
  • Tom Landry (World War II)
  • Ralph Wilson, Jr. (World War II)
  • Frank Kinard (World War II)
  • Arnie Weinmeister (World War II)
  • Bob Waterfield (World War II)
  • Norm Van Brocklin (World War II)
  • Clyde Turner (World War II)
  • Charley Trippi (World War II)
  • Joe Stydahar (World War II)
  • Clarke Hinkle (Word War II)
  • Elroy Hirsch (World War II)
  • Ernie Stautner (World War II)
  • George Halas (World War I and World War II)
  • Lou Groza (World War II)
  • Bud Grant (World War II)
  • Otto Graham (World War II)
  • Tex Schramm (World War II)
  • Frank Gatski (World War II)
  • Dan Fortmann (World War II)
  • Len Ford (World War II)
  • Pete Rozelle (World War II)
  • Ray Flaherty (World War II)
  • Charlie Joiner (Vietnam War)
  • Ray Nitschke (Vietnam War)
  • Roger Staubach (Vietnam War)
  • Ollie Matson (Korean War)
  • Mike McCormack (Korean War)
  • Les Richter (Korean War)
  • Dick “Night Train” Lane (Korean War)
  • Don Shula (Korean War)