Recently, I have seen a number of graduating ceremonies – both from high school and from college – and I can’t help but wonder what is going through the minds of these young people as they walk across the stage.  

Many surveys of these graduates have shown that they view their future with a certain degree of despair. And let’s face it: Early statistics clearly show that these young men and women are going to have a tough time finding jobs and creating the life they want in the short term.  

My generation had many other things to worry about, but one thing we could always count on was the future of America.  That’s something I think this new generation should also focus on.

There are many things that we can teach our children, but one of the biggest lessons they must understand is that character has to come from within.  Yes, there are many life lessons that build character, but if you look at the sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made, that selfless character was always within them.

I think every parent should tell their teenagers and young adults a story today, and that story should describe the history of our military: The wars that we have fought and lost, the acts of heroism that our military members have made through the years, and the personal sacrifices that those men and women have made, along with their families, in order to keep America’s future bright.

I think that this current generation needs to focus more on building that character.  They should never forget Memorial Day, and they should question what was it that led these men and women to join the military and serve their country.

I think they will find answers that will erase some of their cynicism and instill in them the vision of America and the American flag, which still provides hope for millions of people around the world.

Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit for more.