This is hard to watch.
A 100-year old World War II veteran was brought to tears discussing the decline of the United States in an interview.
Florida WTVT-TV profiled Carl Dekel in late June, interviewing the Marine Corps veteran on the occasion of his 100th birthday.
Dekel discussed his lifelong optimism in the interview, describing how his focus on the bright side helped him reach his advanced age.
The Plant City, Florida native described his World War II service as the honor of a lifetime.
Dekel described serving in the Battle of Guadalcanal in 1942, one of the most intense battles in the Pacific Theater of the war.
“Most important thing in my life was serving my country. I don’t think I could take away from that,” said Dekel.
When the topic of conversation shifted to the condition of the United States, Dekel became upset.
“Nowadays … I am so upset that the things we did, the things we fought for, and the boys that died for it — It’s all gone down the drain.”
“Our country’s gone to hell in a handbasket. We haven’t got the country we had when I was raised. Not at all.”
Dekel expressed his sadness that future generations of Americans won’t have the opportunities he did.
“Nobody will have had the fun I had. Nobody will have had the opportunity I had.”
The Marine broke down in tears when he spoke of the men who died in combat.
“It’s not the same. That’s not what our boys — that‘s not what they died for.”
The World War II veteran didn’t get into greater detail on his view of American decline, instead encouraging the public to embrace the optimism that had defined his own life.
“You just remember everything’s beautiful. And live every day to the fullest. Just enjoy everything as much as you possibly can.”
Americans who lived in Dekel’s prime witnessed a nation that had higher levels of social trust, economic mobility and community cohesion.
The Greatest Generation is steadily fading away. The last American service member who was awarded the Medal of Honor for heroism in World War II died earlier this week.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.