Lost a good one last night gents, Morris G. Barton USNR (b 1926). He was known by his family as Uncle Moss. Served in World War II in the Navy and was part of the command fleet responsible for getting Marines landed at Iwo Jima in Feb 1945. Drove the LMTs and dropped those young Marines off, many of them to their eventual death. It was hard for Uncle Moss to ever talk about it and I didn’t learn of his involvement in the battle until recently. Many men of his generation would never tell their story, the memories were too painful.
Uncle Moss was a man of great courage and the highest integrity, the kind of man you’d want to emulate . He loved his family and worked every day at being a better man. He was also part of the Greatest Generation this country has ever produced. A few years ago, we hosted an Honor Flight ceremony for him since he couldn’t travel due to a heart condition in his late 80s. So we brought the Honor Flight to him. I had the honor of giving this speech back then since I thought so highly of him for the life he led. It’s a quick read and I hope you don’t mind me posting it here. I thought it would be relevant for the message F3 conveys and the spirit of the group we are involved in. I’m proud to have called Morris Barton my uncle and even prouder for his service to his country and to his family. And I’m also thankful to my friend, Kodak, for introducing me to this great group of men in F3 Chicago. I look forward to the fellowship every week.
RIP Uncle Moss, we’ll carry the flag from here.
THEY ARE CALLED THE GREATEST GENERATION A SOCIETY HAS EVER PRODUCED. THESE ARE THE MEN AND WOMEN BORN IN THE EARLY MORNING DAWN OF THE 20TH CENTURY. WHAT DID THIS GENERATION MEAN TO THE HISTORY OF OUR GREAT NATION? THIS GENERATION WAS AMERICA’S CITIZEN HEROES WHO CAME OF AGE DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR AND THEN WENT ON TO BUILD MODERN AMERICA. THIS GENERATION WAS UNITED NOT ONLY BY A COMMON PURPOSE, BUT ALSO BY COMMON VALUES. DUTY, HONOR, ECONOMY, COURAGE, SERVICE, LOVE OF FAMILY AND COUNTRY, AND ABOVE ALL, RESPONSIBILITY FOR ONESELF.
AT A TIME IN THEIR LIVES WHEN THEIR DAYS AND NIGHTS SHOULD HAVE BEEN FILLED WITH INNOCENT BEHAVIOR AND NORMAL WORKDAYS, THEY WERE FIGHTING IN THE MOST PRIMITIVE CONDITIONS POSSIBLE ACROSS THE BLOODIED LANDSCAPE OF EUROPE AND THE ISLANDS OF THE PACIFIC. THEY ANSWERED THE CALL TO SAVE THE WORLD FROM THE TWO MOST POWERFUL AND RUTHLESS MILITARIES EVER ASSEMBLED, INSTRUMENTS IN THE HANDS OF MANIACS. THEY FACED GREAT ODDS AT THE START BUT NEVER PROTESTED. THEY SUCCEEDED ON EVERY FRONT. THEY WON THE WAR, THEY SAVED THE WORLD. THEY CAME HOME TO JOYOUS BUT SHORT-LIVED CELEBRATIONS AND IMMEDIATELY BEGAN THE TASK OF REBUILDING AMERICA AND THEIR OWN LIVES. THEY MARRIED IN RECORD NUMBERS AND GAVE BIRTH TO ANOTHER DISTINCTIVE GENERATION, THE BABY BOOMERS. THEY GAVE THE WORLD NEW SCIENCE, ART, LITERATURE, INDUSTRY AND ECONOMIC STRENGTH UNMATCHED IN THE HISTORY OF OUR GREAT NATION. THEY REMAIN FOREVER MODEST IN THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. THEY HAVE MANY STORIES TO TELL, MOST OF WHICH HAVE NEVER BEEN TOLD BECAUSE OF THEIR MODESTY. THEY HAVE A DEEP SENSE OF OBLIGATION TO REMAIN MODEST SINCE MOST OF THEM FEEL THAT WHAT THEY WERE DOING WAS NOT SPECIAL. THEY FEEL IT WAS THEIR DUTY AS AMERICANS. THEY FEEL THAT SOMEONE HAD TO ANSWER THE CALL OF TYRANNY AND TO FIGHT FOR WHAT WAS RIGHT AND JUST.
THESE MEN AND WOMEN ACHIEVED GREATNESS THROUGH EXTRAORDINARY TIMES THAT FORGED THE VALUES THAT MADE A PEOPLE AND A NATION GREAT. THIS IS WHY THEY ARE THE GREATEST GENERATION A SOCIETY HAS EVER PRODUCED.
I SERVED IN THE MARINE CORPS FOR FOUR YEARS IN THE LATE 90S. FROM DAY ONE, WE WERE TOLD STORIES ABOUT THOSE WHO CAME BEFORE US AND SERVED OUR COUNTRY. WE WERE TOLD STORIES ABOUT THE BATTLES OF GUADALCANAL, MIDWAY, GUAM, SAIPAN AND OF COURSE IWO JIMA. THE BATTLE OF IWO JIMA IS CONSIDERED THE MOST REVERED OF CONFLICTS IN THE HISTORY OF THE MARINE CORPS. THROUGHOUT MY MILITARY SERVICE, WE WERE CONSTANTLY REMINDED OF THE SACRIFICE AND COURAGE OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO SERVED BEFORE US, ESPECIALLY THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE SECOND WORLD WAR. THESE MEN AND WOMEN WERE HELD IN THE HIGHEST REGARD AMONG OUR MILITARY CIRCLES, AND RIGHTFULLY SO. MY UNCLES AND GRANDFATHERS WHO SERVED BEFORE ME, WERE AN INSPIRATION TO JOIN THE MARINES. I FELT A DEEP AND RESOUND OBLIGATION TO SERVE MY COUNTRY THANKS TO THE EXAMPLES OF SERVICE & LOVE OF COUNTRY THAT MY UNCLES AND GRANDFATHERS SET BEFORE ME. I AM PROUD TO CALL MORRIS BARTON MY UNCLE AND WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL FOR THE LIVES WE HAVE TODAY. FOR WHAT HE AND HIS GENERATION GAVE US SHOULD NEVER BE FORGOTTEN AND CAN NEVER BE REPAID.