Inspiring book – Higher Call

Have you ever read a book that has inspired you in some way?
A book – a story that you will never forget?
I read a book called A Higher Call. It’s an incredible true story about human decency and honour between ‘enemies’ Franz Stigler and Charlie Brown.
A story that would never have been told if it wasn’t for Adam Makos with Larry Alexander who started out interviewing relatives and locals about their war stories.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to glorify war and that’s not what this story is about.
This story is about one individual who had a choice – to gun down a plane that he realised was barely holding together, to take out the ‘enemy’ but instead he went with his heart – with human decency and flew alongside the plane knowing that German antiaircraft units would not target it. He had tried to get Brown to land the plane at a German airfield and surrender or divert to Sweden which was nearby – so that he and his crew would receive medical treatment. But Brown couldn’t understand his message.
Stigler flew alongside the American bomber to escort them to safety as far as the North Sea where he saluted them and departed.

The bomber landed safely in England with all 10 crew members alive. This mans’ act, not just saved 10 lives but each man went on to have a family. None of which would have happened if he made a different choice.

Both men always wondered what happened to the other. Brown was never able to locate any reports of the incident. Some 40 years later, two young men gathering stories from the aged veterans, wrote of Charlies story and it was published in a magazine.

The two men were finally united in 1990 and remained very close friends until their deaths in 2008.

Our choices – the smallest decisions we make – can determine not just our character – but can shape our future and the future of others. I hope there will be many more Franz Stiglers in this world every day.

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