John Finn, the oldest living Medal of Honor recipient, died Thursday morning at the age of 100 at the Chula Vista Veterans Home.
John Finn was a hero on a scale that few in my generation can comprehend. Wounded, to the point where there would have been no dishonor in giving in to the pain and falling from the fight, he instead chose to give the enemy the full measure of resistance that he could bring to bear. Of course, he joins the chorus that rings from every decorated veteran I've ever heard:
He downplayed his heroic efforts during World War II and said he was just doing his job. “I read about other guys with the medal who lost their lives or really suffered in wars and I think about myself. I was just an uneducated man who got mad as hell one day,” he said in 1984.The man himself delivers the quote of the article:
“I can’t honestly say I hit any, but I shot at every damn plane I could see.”Sir, a grateful nation is saddened by your passing. May you find peace and rest, for you've earned that, and then some.