They were part of the "Greatest Generation" of Americans to possibly ever grace the grounds of the United States, and there are unfortunately too few of them left with us. We lost a great man this week, 103-year-old Marine Corps veteran John Moon.
But, there was also something possibly very interesting about the Macomb, Ill.-native that makes Moon's death all the more sad.
John Moon is believed to have been the oldest known surviving Marine veteran from the battle of Iwo Jima.
After graduating from Western Illinois University (WIU) in 1939, Moon, who was reportedly motivated to become a Marine because of his high school football coach and the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, did so shortly thereafter. Just three-and-a-half years later, Moon was in Iwo Jima along with "more than 100,000 U.S. forces," according to the Military Times.
Following the war, Moon led a full life and was known throughout his community.
The Military Times reported:
After Moon was discharged from the Marine Corps on Sept. 25, 1945, he returned to his hometown of Macomb, Illinois, and ran a café and candy store[...]
He also taught driver education at Macomb, Illinois, High School, was a carpenter and a school bus driver, sold life insurance, and served several terms as an alderman for Macomb City Council. He sang in his church’s choir and drove the “church car” to pick up the elderly for Sunday services.
Moon was survived by two children, five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren, according to his obituary, and will be buried at the Forest Lawn Memory Gardens Cemetery in Illinois with full military rites.
Moon astonishingly was the last of 10 siblings to live. The man certainly led a full life.
As noted above, Moon loved singing. Here he is in January 2018, at almost 102-years-old, singing the national anthem before a WIU Women's Basketball game:
RIP, Mr. Moon.