Random encounters

Posted on March 27, 2019


So my friend Lisa and I, in our search to add more culture to our lives, visited the International Museum of World War II in Natick Massachusetts. We were expecting a few rooms filled with interesting artifacts, but boy were we surprised! Inside were rooms and rooms filled with artifacts about the causes and consequences of war. We spent over three hours there.

This museum has everything from war uniforms, to letters from famous people like Roosevelt, Churchill and even Hitler! One of my favorite things to see in this museum was the Sherman tank. That is one large piece of equipment. Now I understand the phrase, “built like a Sherman tank.”

ww2 sherman tank

The museum is the life work of the founder, Kenneth Rendell. He has made it his life mission to collect as much as possible about World War II. He has traveled the world to do so.

The best part of this whole adventure was meeting a gentleman who actually was at Iwo Jima and helped raise the flag! Talk about cool. He was visiting the museum with his two sons and I first noticed them taking pictures in front of the famous Iwo Jima picture. I offered to take a picture with all of them in it and they happily agreed. We got to talking and I am so glad we did.

iwo jima flag raising

Lisa and I spent the next hour hearing first hand from this gentleman what it was like as a young, 20 year old Marine to land on Iwo Jima. Words cannot express how interesting, yet sobering this was.

This gentleman is 94 years old and he has more energy that I do. We asked him the secret to his longevity and he replied, “Tai Chi, which I do every morning; family ties, as witnessed by my two sons with me; an attitude of gratitude for every day.” He also said that his experiences in World War II made him the man he is today. Even though it was the hardest thing he has ever had to do, the war taught him the value of love. I thought that was just so interesting that something as horrible as war can teach such a lovely lesson.

Days later, I am still thinking about that encounter with this inspiring gentleman.

What sort of encounters have you had that inspire you?

Sherman tank is from Wikipedia.