Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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The story of a WWII Lieutenant's Letters Home inspired me to share my memories of my father, as a Nebraska farm boy who died at age 25, a co-pilot flying a B-24 bomber, on his first mission out of London. His plane and crew went down on his mother's birthday, February 20th, 1944. When his parents got the telegram that he was "missing in action", they took it to the hospital where my mother was recovering from my birth (I had been born on March 1st). It was several years before the remains of my father and his crew were found. The plane had crashed into a farmer's field in Belgium; thankfully, the villagers eventually found the crash site and saved what they could. There were enough remains to fill two coffins, which were interred in a central location of nine men: the Zachary Taylor cemetery in Louisville, KY. My father's last letter to his mother expressed no fear; instead, he had volunteered for overseas duty, been transferred to London, and was afraid that the war would be over before he could fly and join the fight. I think that my mother never stopped grieving, although she remarried, birthed five more children, and raised a wonderful family. For me, the hole in my heart, the depth of my longing to see him, to know him, to touch him, to hold him live with me forever. Thank you for allowing me to tell my story on this Memorial Day weekend.
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