"Geezers" -- a slang term for any old man -- are easy to spot. At parades, they're the ones standing a little taller and often saluting when the flag passes by. At sporting events and at ceremonies on national holidays, they're the ones who stand erect and hold their hands over their hearts when the national anthem is played. They know the words to the Star
Spangled Banner and can sing them aloud without embarrassment.
They remember the Depression, Pearl Harbor, World War II (a few even remember WWI), Guadalcanal, Normandy, and Hitler. They remember the dawn of the Atomic Age, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Jet Age, and the Moon landing. Younger old geezers remember Vietnam.
If you bump into an old geezer on the sidewalk, he'll apologize. Pass a geezer on the street and he'll nod, maybe even say hello, tip his hat to a lady. Geezers trust strangers and are courtly toward women. They hold the door for the next person, and always, when walking, make sure the lady is on the inside. Why? Once it was to shield the lady from debris thrown from the street by passing carriages; today, it's simply because tradition and good manners say it's the courteous thing to do.
Geezers are embarrassed when someone curses within earshot of women and children. And geezers don't appreciate violence and smut on television and in the movies.
Geezers have moral courage. They're often the only ones staring down those making offensive remarks or acting in an offensive manner. Geezers seldom brag unless it's about their grandchildren's exploits in Little League or a violin recital.
This country needs geezers. We need their decent values and their common sense. We need them because they have the breadth of experience, the depth of knowledge and the high ideals that helped bring this country through the difficulties cited above and just, as we need them, so too did they need the geezers of the generations that preceded them.
The lineage never ends. It goes back through the geezers who brought this country through its growth in the 1800s, through the geezers who wrote the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution -- and then fought to assure their permanence. It goes back to those hardy geezers who survived the colonization of the New World and made possible what we have today.
Thank God for all Old Geezers.