Wednesday, October 1, 2008

In The Company of Heroes

That's where we were while we were away. We were in Branson, Missouri attending the AACS Alumni Associations Annual Convention with my father-in-law and his buddies. (Well, I guess technically it is now the Air Force Communicators and Air Traffic Controllers. They are changing the name soon. They want to include the young'uns in their organization.)

My husband goes with my FIL every year to these reunions, but since this year's event was in Branson, he invited all of us to come along and enjoy the town.

While it is always amazing to meet these men and hear their stories, we were uniquely privileged to attend the 50th anniversary celebration of the Berlin Air Lift in Berlin, Germany in 1999. My FIL served as an air traffic controller during the Air Lift. He helped save a city using means that are now not even legal. Too dangerous. But they did it daily and succeeded in safely landing hundreds of air craft, one every two to three minutes 24/7, to a city that is amazingly grateful to this day. This was the first real "battle" in the cold war. They saved the city from coming under communist rule. The world would look very different today if they had not succeeded in their mission.

I love history. I enjoyed studying it while I was in school and I love teaching it to my children. But these men are living history books. The number of men that Papa served with in Berlin is dwindling, but there are younger ones coming in who have also served their country and the world faithfully in other conflicts. It is humbling to walk among these men and women knowing the sacrifices they made and the horrors they have witnessed.

We are proud of our Papa and grateful that he shares this piece of himself with us and our children.

1 comment:

tipper said...

Sounds like Papa is one of those unsung heros. I wish we could record the histories of each man who served like him. Their memories and experiences are so important-not to mention fascinating.