This day always seems to come with a twinge of sadness, along with extreme pride. My Father’s Father (my Grandfather), died shortly after I was born, my Father, spoke little of his Father, all I know, is the little information that was scrounged up from the internet and the few historians who have attempted to find bits of information on him.
My Grandfather was a WW2 Fighter pilot with the Royal Air Force. During the war, his plane was shot down in France, he miraculously landed his plane, which was on fire, and hid in a shallow grave, he slept for days, hearing German soldiers around him. He was later found and rescued by a young woman and brought to her farm-house. She dressed him in old pajamas, put some makeup on him and powdered his dark locks, and sat him in bed with her grandmother. While the German soldiers were searching door to door, the young woman told my Grandfather to keep quiet, act a little out of sorts, he would be Grande Pere, and sit with his beloved Grand Mama. The German soldiers came in, saw the sight of an old couple in bed, and quickly fled.
As it turned out, the young woman who saved my Grandfather was actually part of the French Resistance. No word could get out to my Grandmother that her husband was still alive, she grieved thinking she had lost him. Mean while, my Grandfather, who couldn’t get out of France, worked with the French Resistance for the last 6 months of the war.
Lest us Remember.