World War II “Billie D. Harris” Fighter Pilot Story Has Multiple Lessons
On July 17, 1944, 1Lt. Billie D. Harris was shot down in his fighter over Normandy as the Allies sought to retake Fortress Europa from the occupying Germans. In his final moments, Harris had apparently steered the plane clear of the small town of Les Ventes to crash in nearby woods.
The grateful townspeople buried him in their own local cemetery, then began a special parade along a street named "Place Billie D. Harris" three times a year, an honor they've continued to the present.
For some, the story is a reminder about the Christian "greatest" generation of French people still remaining in France, but now bolstered by younger conservative French who are watching their country being swallowed up by "multicultural" and "diversity" immigrants from Muslim and other Third World countries.
A recent video commemorating Harris, entitled "The Longest Wait" has other lessons for different viewers as well. Some seem to drawn to the government's mishandling of notification procedures by failing to notify the widow Peggy, who later received various contradictory accounts from the military about her husband's disposal.
Even US Congressman Mac Thornberry seemed to nonchalantly leap on the "missing in action" interpretation when asked to intervene by the widow, apparently never actually checking the records. For some, this lesson points to a heartless, statistical-type government, hardly in control of its own programs.
A relative of Harris finally checked government records to determine that Harris was indeed buried in the well-known US military cemetery at Normandy, where the widow Peggy now visits and send flowers, honored again by local traditional French people. She apparently never married again so as to remain faithful to long-ago vows, even the one about "till death do us part," surely revealing in our confused age of multiple divorces and gay-sex marriages.
[Reprinted from sd.heroes.com with permission]