Tuesday, December 23, 2008
The Greatest Generation passes - Francis S. Gibbs 1916-2008
Dad would have been 92 years old today, but he missed that by two months. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, my father served during the whole of WWII in the Canadian Forces in the RCAF. After leaving the RCAF in 1946, he came down to the US with my Mom (and me) and joined the Army Air Corps. In 1948, when the Air Force was born, we became an Air Force Family. By his retirement in 1973, Dad had over 35 years of combined service. His wish was always for a military funeral when the time came, and a bagpiper. We were able to give him both. An Honor Guard from the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the active duty Minnesota Army Guard did a wonderful job, 21 gun salute and all. We were so very proud. A bagpiper played Amazing Grace, and an Army bugler played taps. Since Dad himself had been a trumpeter, this was especially moving. I was so very thankful to be able to have had these dedicated men of several generations giving their time to honor a veteran who had served so honorably. Our parents are a part of us. When they are gone we suddenly become propelled into real adulthood. The older generation is now me. A constant presence in my consciousness, my father will always be there, now passing through the flowing river of life with my mother. I couldn't have had better parents, nor more interesting ones. Being a military family we had opportunities and experiences others seldom have, and a lot of learning and fun along the way! Rest in eternal peace.