What will you leave behind as the legacy of your life?
Harry Adams, 88, of Nazareth is still building his legacy, but it’s already meaningful. The beloved father, gardener, veteran and defender of the American flag was recognized at Nazareth Borough Council’s Jan. 7 meeting for his role in making the “borough a better place [to live and work].”
Adams received the “2012 Mayor’s Award for Citizens in Service to Our Borough,” an award given to a deserving citizen who has made an appreciable difference in the community but has gone unrecognized.
Nazareth Mayor Fred Daugherty Jr. was overcome with emotion as he read a resolution that detailed the community and volunteer work of Adams:
“The borough is most proud to honor Harry Adams for his devotion to our community, his active role in many public projects and for the example he has set for others who may be reluctant to give willingly of their time and efforts. This kind and loving and pleasant man has never been selfish with his own time and is seemingly happiest when helping others.”
Adams and his family were on hand for the special recognition.
"I’m honored and humbled by this award," Adams simply said.
A World War II veteran, Adams has often expressed his disappointment with the lack of patriotism and the failure of borough residents to proudly fly Old Glory.
“On several occasions, Harry addressed Council with so much passion about the decline in patriotism that he became emotional to the verge of tears,” the resolution states. “Remarkably, Harry has never failed to remain humble, respectful and charming, so much so that you couldn’t help but instantly like him."
In July 2011, Adams retired as the caretaker of the Shafer Elementary School Memorial Garden after about 16 years of volunteering his services.
Adams took over the garden after teacher Bob Johnson retired from Shafer. Johnson served in the Army Tank Corps in World War II, according to Adams.
His motivation to keep the garden going all of these years? The men and women who didn’t come home. According to Adams, the servicemen who died at sea were buried at sea.
“That’s not easy to forget,” he said, adding that many families never had a chance to bury their sons, brothers and husbands. “It helped knowing that I was doing something in remembrance of those who didn’t come back. I try to impress on the kids what price was paid for their freedom.”
Adams also took an active role when the West Nile virus threatened the community 15 years ago. According to the borough resolution, Adams pinpointed sites that may harbor disease-carrying mosquitoes and alerted Vector Control and the borough’s Code Enforcement Department.
The resolution read by Daugherty concluded:
“I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.”
- Mahatma Gandhi
“… A life so fully led, deserves to be recognized and honored, most particularly for a man like Harry Adams, who you just can’t help but love. Tonight is the affirmation that we do.”
Volunteers Help Shafer Elementary's Memorial Garden Bloom
Garden Dedicated to Veterans in Need of Caretaker