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A Hero

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Walter Wentz and Charlie


I have few living heroes, for they seem to be in short supply. I do have one in Broadway, however, and his name in Ernie Folkes.

Ernie is a small and quiet man. I first met him on a rainy day selling poppies. He was soaking wet, but that was wholly irrelevant to Ernie for Ernie, you see, is one of the few remaining people who think that duty to God, Queen, and Country is a helluva lot more important than owning a new BMW, eating in the fashionable restaurants, or staying dry.

Ernie landed at Sword Beach on D-day, 6 June, 1944. In a couple of hours all of his unit's officers were dead save for the major and he was having to be carried in a wheel barrow. He wasn't carried long for he soon bled to death. Ernie then proceeded to fight his way across France and into Germany. Were it not for the likes of Ernie, you and I would be speaking German today. God bless Ernie Folkes.

The War Memorial in Broadway VillageEvery village and town has a commons or green. The green is a small park and it invariably contains a war memorial. Our memorial has 72 names on it - men who died for their fellow men in the two world wars. That is one name, in other words, that is one dead son, for every ten houses. Had my town, South Pasadena, California, suffered such a loss, it would have meant a whole high school of dead young men.

When the Americans go into Iraq the Brits will be with them, shoulder to shoulder. Of course the French will be nowhere in sight and the Italians couldn't care less. The rest of the Europeans will be equally useless.

Yes, there is a 'special relationship' between Britain and America. Long may it last.

Walter Wentz

A Hero