BOSTON (CBS) – There’s a remarkable moment in history playing out over the next couple of days, the funerals of two world-famous people who exemplified the best of a sometimes-overlooked generation of Americans.
Aretha Franklin will be remembered at a funeral service in Detroit Friday, both musically with performances by Stevie Wonder, Chaka Khan and others, and rhetorically, by speakers including former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. If you watch you may learn about the courage Aretha showed as a female performer in a male-dominated industry and as a civil rights activist who was never afraid to speak her mind.
On Saturday, Senator John McCain’s memory will be honored in Washington, with eulogies from Mr. Obama and former President George W. Bush, a chance for the uninitiated to learn more about his work ethic and moral courage.
They were both members of the so-called silent generation of Americans born between 1925 and 1945, a relatively small group often overshadowed by the saga of the so-called greatest generation that preceded them and the baby boomers who followed them.
They were born in times of economic depression and global war, and did their best to create something positive out of that adversity, Aretha with her music, McCain with his commitment to freedom and fair play.
The silent generation is in their 70s, 80s and 90s now, and with each passing year we realize the irony of their nickname. Aretha Franklin and John McCain were anything but silent. And while they are now gone, their legacies will continue to speak loudly.