Freedom not to be taken for granted

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At the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day, of the eleventh month I stood at the memorial to the American air crew killed when their B24 Liberator crashed into the hillside at Butts Brow. Apart from one interesting lady I was alone.

She told me about her uncle who died in the skies above Tunisia and the kind local farmer who recovered his body and kept it safe from the hostile enemy. Such humanity in times of war.

I was so disappointed that despite large numbers of dog walkers around not one stopped at the memorial or even took an interest in the sacrifice these brave airmen made on our behalf.

Shot up and with two engines out, returning from a bombing raid on V1 and V2 sites in France, they so nearly made safety at Friston Fields, but instead paid the ultimate price to help secure our freedom.

That freedom should never be taken for granted.

I trust that, should those who passed by, read this letter, their conscience will be pricked and they return to the memorial on 2nd February, the anniversary of the crash, and spend two minutes thinking of our American friends who gave so much.

You have the pleasure of walking your dog on a crisp bright November morning. They don’t.

JOHN HANSFORD, Ocklynge Road.