Miss Emily had been exempt from paying taxes due to the heroic war efforts of her father, Colonel Santoris. After his death, the forgiveness was to continue "into perpetuity." But after those who recalled the war had died, the "next generation" "with its more modern ideas" recinded this decree. "On the first of the year they mailed her a tax notice...without comment."
The actions of the new generation speak to the modern generation who has no respect or appreciation of the action of the elders and their previous "moral code."