Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

November 30, 2012

JAMES BROWN: Stories must be recorded while time allows

By JAMES BROWN
Glasgow Daily Times

GLASGOW — Ed Smith, known as Faye as some of his oldest friends still call him, has an extraordinary tale to tell. It is the kind of story about which directors make movies and novelists pen 400 pages of flowing prose.

Ed Smith’s story has been told before. It has been recalled for student assemblies. It is miraculous and he freely admits it.

On a night in 1945, high above the flatlands of central Texas, he didn’t think his life had reached its end, he knew. He was wedged in a window frame of a flaming, flailing B-29 bomber after it had collided with another bomber. His prayers were not for God to save his life, but to forgive his sins.

Smith lives to tell his story, so obviously God made two exceptions on that night — one for Ed and the other for one of his crew mates. Eighteen other young men were not spared.

While Daily Times reporter Amanda Loviza Vickery was working on stories of veterans leading up to Veterans Day this year, she discovered there were many more veterans’ stories to be told. We discussed the idea of collecting these stories and publishing them periodically, regardless of time of year, for the sake of documenting the historic record of the citizens of our community who have served our nation.

Smith’s is the first of those ongoing stories.

For 148 years, this newspaper has recorded the lives and events of this community and we have every intention to continue that service for another 148 years in some format. We’ll all be long gone by then, but hopefully our children’s grandchildren will be able to access the Daily Times in whatever format is prominent and find the record of our community’s daily life.

Back to the point. Our ambition in telling the stories of local veterans begins with those still living and who served during World War II. We will continue on to Korean Conflict, Vietnam Conflict, Desert Storm and the latest conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The story telling does not have to follow strict timeline, but for obvious reasons we would first focus on documenting the service of WWII vets.

For those who know of someone whose story needs to be told, they can let us know either at my e-mail below, or by e-mailing Amanda at aloviza@glasgowdailytimes.com.

We certainly look forward to learning more about our neighbors and the time they have spent in service to our great nation.

James Brown is editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. He can be contacted by e-mail at jbrown@glasgowdailytimes.com.