Today is my Dad’s birthday. We lost him last year at the age of 83. Dad was a fighter pilot, an Elon College alumni, a dairy farmer and a school teacher and principal. He was a church and community leader, a husband, a father, a grandfather and most of all a friend. He was my rock. I miss him.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds – and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew –
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.
Pilot Officer Gillespie Magee
No 412 squadron, RCAF
Killed 11 December 1941
For more info about my Dad’s World War II experience, go to http://www.carolinacommunities.com/nws/fly28.html