B 17 Bomber A Monstrous Marvel
Last weekend I went down to see the “B 17 Bomber Sentimental Journey ” at the Bar Harbor Airport. As I stood there taking in this mechanical marvel my mind began to wander. Looking at what must have been by modest estimate100,000 rivets holding this bird together I couldn’t help but imagine all the workers it must have taken to produce just one of these planes back in the 40’s. How many families that must have fed in this country.
Then as I walked around to see all the 360 degrees of gunning stations again my mind was taken to the 10 men that flew the plane and performed at their stations. Many I have read were 19 years old. I imagine their mother’s on their knees praying for them to come home. Many who would never survive their first mission. This plane flew unpressurized so it’s crew was cold and the air was thin. Their eyes scanning the skies for enemies and their targets below while they remembered their families, their friends safe in their beds a world away.
I marveled at the ingenuity and the savage truth that as many live as this machine saved…it also took. I look at the number of bombs dropped each with up to an 8000 lb pay load and even my limited understanding says “devastation”. I think to myself, human beings are the most wonderful and terrible force on the earth. Praise God for those then and today who stand up for what is right with enough conviction to die if that is what it requires and for those who can negotiate peace so God willing they don’t have to. What is the quote? I paraphrase..” those who forget history are destined to repeat it”. Let’s not forget, appreciate but then remember and learn.
Thanks to the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force Aviation Museum for bringing it here, safe journey.