A few years ago we stood on the beaches in Normandy, France and marveled at the courage it took for those men to storm the beach through a hail of bullets. Our hearts were touched with knowing that many sacrificed their lives in the defense of the freedoms we enjoy.
Several days ago we had the opportunity to see another side of bravery in that war, the bravery of men who would climb into B-17s and B-24s and all sorts of other aircraft that flew during that time in the war effort. The Wings of Freedom Tour sponsored by the Collings Foundation brought a collection of planes that are still flying and touring the country giving the opportunity for many to appreciate the effort of those soldiers of the air.
We were able to board the planes and climb through for a look at the inside. It was amazing. Cramped quarters and seats next to huge bombs. While we could look below us through the open bomb bay doors and see the ground just a few feet below, those riding in the plane during the war would have had a much more frightening view.
I've visited battlefields, been on ships and a submarine, but crawling through the B-24 made me all the more aware of the raw courage of the men who fought in the war then. It makes me grateful for those willing to serve today as well. Thank you.