Newsletter Issue: March/April 2004 - page 5 of 7

  So, I began to ponder the notion of reuniting the children of the orphanage at Dongelberg with the men of the 412th FS. It could be that some of the children wouldn't even remember those days, but perhaps some like the woman from England, have memories that would like to be fulfilled. I know that the men of the 412th would like to connect with these children again, even if only one could be found. There would be a physical link with a time of heightened emotions. There is no commercial reason for doing this. It is just a labor of love. If I could achieve this goal, it would be as if I had honored all that my uncle and the other men of the 412th stood for. It would be something good to have come out of a war whose survivors may still not have achieved closure. I know that some of the other relatives that I have talked with also feel the same. There is something very special about this story. Yet, it needs a happy ending.  
  First I needed to find these children - so that we could ask them if they were interested in meeting with the men of the 412th Fighter Squadron. I provided some pictures of some of the children and a few of their first names to my friend Ludo Van Moorleghem of Belgium. Ludo has taken much of his own time to help seek information for me. He has introduced me to others in Belgium who have graciously helped also. How I came to know Ludo and others in the search is a long story in itself, and we often felt like we were looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.  
  Many avenues were pursued in this search and finally, in 2004, we have found several of the children from Dongelberg. Some are living in Belgium still and one is living in the United States. They have all indicated a desire to meet with the men (and families) of the 412th at the annual reunion in September of this year, in Laurel, MD. Perhaps more will be found!  
  Many of the people who helped or were interested were young people in Belgium. The Belgian people seem to have a wonderful regard for Americans who served in the war and liberated their country. Lately we do not seem to have too many friends left in the world, but I cannot say enough about the people of this country. Many families adopt the gravesites of American service men that were killed in Belgium. My uncle is buried in Belgium, not far from where he fell from the sky, and a family there lovingly tends his gravesite. When I received a letter from these wonderful people, I sent them a picture of Bill with my thanks.  
  These things make a difference in our lives!  
  The world today once more seems to be consumed with fear. To many, this fear is like a vast ocean that seems impossible to safely cross or even ignore. Yet it has been said that we aren't created out of fear. We are the manifestation of the spirit of Love. How then does fear come into play so prominently in our lives? We need to understand it better. Could fear be a tool we have created to explore and define the power of our Love more clearly? The pilots and the children forged this bridge once. Can they do it again?  
  I can see this vast sea of fear and now it affects us all. I can also see so many islands of Love rising above the tumultuous waves. Each of us becomes one of those islands when we focus on Love instead of the other side of the coin. As we gaze over the expanse of fear, we encounter other islands of Love. When we reach out to those others we form spiritual and physical bridges of Love.  
  The connections would continue to grow as bridge after bridge links island after island of Love. Soon the whole of Mother Earth could be so covered with loving spans that fear's influence will recede.  
  Perhaps this is the real mission that Bill Miller has sent me on. I look at all the love received from so many people involved in this search as having created bridges between us. In our love we are much closer than the miles would seem to define.  

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