|Posted by EAA 790 Webmaster on April 19, 2012 at 7:15 PM|
Today, I met history.
Our EAA chapter's general meeting for March was getting ready to begin, and with handshakes and greetings I hurried to take my seat. I looked up to the front of the room, and there it was.
Before me stood screaming P-40 Warhawks over Africa, P-47 Thunderbolts over Italy, P-51 Mustangs over Austria. Before me stood guns blazing and bullets whizzing past enemy Focke-Wulfs a mile up in the sky. Before me were mission briefings announced to anxious officers in uniform, sorties flown, and friends lost.
Before me stood laughter on leave, dress-downs in inspection lines, pictures of wives and of girlfriends and of pin-up girls.
Today, I met a legend.
There, by the podium, were stories that will be handed down from generation to generation.
There, by the podium, were pilots that against all odds earned their wings, airmen that despite insurmountable resistance by the very institution they supported won their rights to go to war, formations of B-25 bombers reaching their targets.
Today, I met an officer and a gentleman.
Respect and manners, training and grace, kindness and humility, a man that listened in a way that made me feel important when I spoke, and made me realize his strength through his modesty.
It was my honor, and my privilege to meet a man to whom we all owe a great deal. Because...
Today, I met Lt.Milton Williams, a Tuskegee Airman, an American Hero.
Thank you Lt. Williams, and to all of you veterans that served our great country, whether in times of military conflict or in peace.