Greetings to my old home town

The pandemic with all its loss and sorrow has raised the need to do much better in controlling the terrible pestilence. In this vein, I think we would do well to heed my friend Pat Farris in her appeal to our better selves:

“These difficult times call for the best in us not to allow the worst in us to rule our behavior. Some of us must stay strong for the weakest among us.”

Pat’s appeal needs to be heard especially among the many who have worked against the common good, undermining the battle to defeat the virus.

So much of the death, disease and financial suffering could have been avoided if not for politics, selfishness and plain old bad behavior.

In Ridgecrest almost half a century ago, I saw a shining example of giving your all for the common good.

I watched as a Navy pilot gave his life rather than put school children and their teachers in harm’s way.

He had stayed in his crippled plane, guiding it to an empty field to avoid hitting an elementary school. He could have bailed out and saved himself. If he did, the plane might well have hit the school.

After crash-landing the plane, its wheels still up, the pilot was trapped in his harness, unable to free himself.

Flames engulfed the plane and the pilot, creating an inferno so intense  rescue workers were driven back, unable to reach him.

His name was Ted Faller.

Bill Wright, former resident

Story First Published: 2021-02-05