Private First Class John "Jack" Showers (1920 -1985)
US Army, WWII, Bronze Star, KIA
Remembering - Private First Class John Showers - John Showers Honored at Benezette Bridge Dedication
The following article is a condensed version of a Bennett's Valley Newspaper article by Peggie L. Coppolo
John E. Showers, Vietnam Veteran who gave his life to protect a fellow solder, was honored Saturday, October 3, 2009 at the new Benezette bridge dedication service held on the Dudley Farm on Winslow Hill.
Larry McCartney was the Master of Ceremonies and began the ceremony with the American Legion Valley Post 978 presenting the colors. Then Lana Kline sang the National Anthem. US Army Chaplain did the Invocation.
President of the V.V.A. Chapter 720, Ronald Guilyard spoke about who are the heroes. He stated that everyone is born to be a hero but most do not have to utilize that instinct.
John Showers became a hero on October 1, 1967 when he and other soldiers were on patrol and were ambushed by the Vietcong. John shielded a fellow comrade and received head wounds. The soldier he protected was saved but John died on October 6, 1967. John made the decision to cover his comrade’s body with his own and made the ultimate sacrifice. Guilyard stated that we can only hope we would have done the same thing but it is something we don’t know until we are faced with that decision.
John Showers was awarded the bronze star for his heroic action. He is an American hero and all who know and love and miss him. This day’s celebration is to celebrate the short life of John E. Showers, Jr.
The Master of Ceremony for the event was Larry McCartney. Other speakers included Leslie Neal Glatt, Director of Veteran’s Affairs. Robert Gaerpner, on behalf of State Representative Matt Gabler who could not attend the event due to his schedule. A presentation was made by James Burke in the form a charcoal portrait of John Showers to the Showers family on behalf of the Mt. Zion Historical Society.
Gerald Showers reminisced about stories of his brother John. His remarks concluded when he stated that like a lot of young men when he was called to serve his country, he served with all his might, mind and soul. In the Shower’s family there is what Gerald called an unwritten order of things. That unwritten order of things is when your country calls you into service you go and do your duty. This unwritten order of things comes from many ways but mostly it comes from watching family members and their examples.
The following poem was read by Ron Guilyard at the John Shower’s bridge dedication.
Remember me in the flow of the sunset,
Or when robins return in the spring-
Know that in life there are ups and downs,
Remember me as the butterfly flutters,
And drinks the sweet nectar of flowers-
Life is a simple as nourishment,
Within all, there is loving powers.
Remember me with the radiance of the sun,
As the glow of me warms your face-
When the gentle breeze
Blows you hair to you eyes,
Know it is me sending God’s Grace.
Remember me when a newborn cries,
For soon tears of joy will appear-
As you gaze upon the newness of life,
Know that I am close to you near
Remember me as you pray at night,
For this is when you sense me the most-
Know that I am, and forever will be
Alive, with God, as my host.
Lest We Forget…