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Thanks very much, Lane, for opening the floodgates of such a great topic. And thanks for all of the great columns so far, with (hopefully) many more to come. Like many baby boomers, I grew up knowing that my dad had been an RAF bomber pilot in WW2. And that he'd been shot down and was a POW for 3 years and 8 months. And that he'd been awarded a very important medal for bravery after several escapes. But simply growing up with that knowledge is enough to make it irrelevant in one's own mind. Dad died in 1979, when I was 22. I was so busy growing up, that I never took the time to ask him about the war, and he never brought it up. In the mid-late 1980's, I started to get interested in researching what dad had done in the war. After several trips to England's National Archives, and meetings with some of his former aircrew and fellow escapees, I learned much more than I ever thought possible. Enough, in fact, to write a book about him (which will be published this October). What I discovered, 17 years after his death, was that my father (yeah, the fat, bald, quiet guy who lived down the hall), was probably the only German Jew who flew bombers in the RAF, was shot down and taken POW by his own people (without any protection of the Geneva Convention - he was, after all, still a German citizen at the time), and became one of the most ardent escapers of the war. He is mentioned in 10 books of which I'm aware, and just thinking about all of this hurts my brain. Why did he hide his ethnicity from his own family? Why couldn't I have known this when he was alive??? They truly were "The Greatest Generation". How can one possibly say "thank-you" enough, for everything they gave us? So thanks to all of our veterans. The magnitude and courage of your sacrifice is humbling. And thanks again to both Lane, and Flying, for making this sharing possible. Marc
Common sense should always come first.
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