This coming Friday the US Airforce and Royal Airforce will fly over Endcliffe Park to remember the incredible sacrifice of the crew of the Mi Amigo aircraft 75 years ago. The now famous crew chose to crash into the trees to the back of Endcliffe Park to avoid harming the children playing in the park. What has touched so many people is the dedication of Tony Foulds who has tended the site for the past 75 years. Until recently, nobody noticed him but he still nurtured the Memorial with amazing dedication.
Hidden In Plain Sight
I came across the scene of the crash quite soon after I moved into the premises at Rustlings Road just a few years ago. I was walking my dog in Endcliffe Park and stumbled upon the Memorial that is in the middle of some trees in the park. At that time, there were no signs to let you know it was there. Yet even then I was struck by how well kept this memorial, that was so hidden away, seemed to be. I searched Google to find out about the story behind it.
I’ve lost count of the number of times that I have looked out from the windows of 8:16. It directly overlooks the site – the large open space, the trees and the memorial sat amongst the trees. It would be so easy to miss the life-changing secrets hidden within what seems like an everyday scene.
Lessons For Today
There are so many things that we could take from this incredible story of heroism and sacrifice. I believe that Tony Foulds is a hero of our times. The dedication he has shown in caring for the Memorial has meant that the crew of Mi Amigo have not been forgotten. It reminds me too that so often, in the everyday scenes that we walk past, there are life-altering incidents all around us. Often we miss them because they may not appear dramatic. They might be in plain sight but we miss them. But they are still there.
The name of the plane involved in the fatal crash in 1944 seems so apt. The crew of the plane lived up to the plane’s name. Tony Foulds has been a friend to those who sacrificed their lives to save him and his friends. I hope all who remember the sacrifice will continue in the spirit of Mi Amigo beyond Friday.
Finally, I hope that we become more aware of what is right infront of us. The most influential and life-altering things are often hidden in plain sight. I hope we become more aware of these things and each other.