I am a WWII orphan who has searched for information about her father for 50 years. At age 8 I overheard a conversation that changed my life. I learned my biological father was a pilot and died in a plane crash.
My family never talked about him and when I asked one day, I learned in no uncertain terms that that subject was off limits. Soon I started writing letters to the Army, the VA, and even to the President of the United States with no replies. It was 50 years later that I finally got part of my fathers' military records (the rest were burned in a fire). When the postman handed me the envelope, my heart pounded faster and faster as I opened it. I just knew my prayers had been answered.
Only what I held in my hands wasn't the whole story nor was all of it the truth. The Army Air Corp had no idea where my father's plane went down, but it was somewhere in France. I cried and cried not knowing what to do next.
A few years later I heard a story on the news about an organization coming to Branson, MO near where I lived. The organization, AWON, was the American WWII Orphans Network. I contacted them and went to the convention. For the first time I could talk to others who had lost their fathers too. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to find others who knew what it was like not to know anything. And talking to others who spent every day missing their father. We all learned from one another, that it was very rare for our mothers to tell their children about their fathers. There was a wall of silence our whole lives.
It dawned on me to start sending emails all over France. Every web site I could find that gave me an email address immediately received an inquiry email from me. I worked night and day, forgetting to sleep or eat regularly, but after thousands of emails I received a reply. And with the reply were the articles and photos from the French newspaper when the bodies were found.
I went to France and was taken up the mountain to the crash site. The closer I got it was as if my whole body was rebelling and alerting me. The pain in my chest and head was so great that my whole body was shaking inside. All of a sudden my guides stopped in their tracks and pointed to the crash site.
Amongst all the parts of the plane was the pilots seat my father would have died in. I reached out my hand and touched it. I've never known so much pain. And all of a sudden, a most amazing, totally peaceful feeling came over me. The song "amazing grace" played within me over and over again all the way back down the mountain. The sound was so angelic. For days off the song would start in again and each time I felt a healing taking place.
Still, to this day if I am in complete quiet, it will start in again. After a whole life of pain, I was totally at peace. My father is now honored in three museums and in the book I wrote to honor him.