Flag Day Heroes
One of the fun things about traveling is meeting new people. On our recent cruise around the British Isles, we shared our dining experience each night with a pair of nonagenarians–George and Joe. They’ve been best friends since high school. They were the best man at each other’s weddings and must have tied the knots tightly. Joe and his wife celebrated 60 years of marriage. George and his sweetheart were together for 65. They are both widowers now, but it takes a special kind of lover to romance the same woman that long. Now that their wives are gone, they still travel together.
They also both served their country with distinction during World War II. George was a pilot in the South Pacific. Joe fought in Europe and was a POW in Germany for a time. After his terrible experience, it was a surprise to learn that he married a German girl.
Joe and his wife met in the US after the war while she was an exchange student in college. Both their families said it would never last. Even now, he was hard-pressed to talk about her without his eyes glistening with unshed tears.
That kind of long-term commitment moves me. It speaks to the longing we all have for someone–just one–to accept all that we are and love us unreservedly. It’s the epitome of romance. It also shows that former enemies can become the dearest of all through the transforming power of love.
Happy Flag Day to George & Joe as well as all our veterans and active service members and their families. I appreciate you and your sacrifice so very much.