Tuesday, November 21, 2006

John Adams (Grandpa John) R.I.P.

My father-in law, John Adams, passed away on Sunday. He was a good man. He had lied about his age to join the Marines at the age of 16 and served in the Pacific during World War II. We had all known that about him, but it was not until we were at his funeral that we saw his enlistment paperwork and found out that he had enlisted on December 10, 1941, just three days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. I also found out, from his son, that he had fought at Iwo Jima - which is something else I never knew. I should not have been surprised. Many of the men of that generation never talked about what they did in that war.

Once my young son, always full of questions, asked his Grandpa John "how many Japanese soldiers did you see go still in your [rifle] sights, Grandpa?" (yes, my son talks like that) Grandpa John, who usually was not at a loss for words, and never passed up an invitation to launch into a good story, just looked away for a moment, in a thousand yard stare, and then looking down at his grandson simply said "too many."

He lived a good long life and we all knew the end was coming, as it always does, but it is still sad and he will still be missed. There are so few left of that generation. So few. If you are lucky enough to have a man such as this still around, then I urge you to slow down, take the time to talk to him, hear his stories, write them down so they will not pass when he does, and learn from his long life. My wife has more about her Dad over at her blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We should all take the time to ask questions(and take notes), soon the whole generation will be gone and their stories with them.