Sunday, 1 November 2009

some names need to be remembered forever

Douglas Bader was one of my heroes when I was growing up. I'd almost forgotten his name, but was reminded of him when Richard Stubbs mentioned him recently on his afternoon show on ABC radio 774 Melbourne. Stubbs says this is one word we should all remember - and I agree.

The word Bader is a synonym for courage and determination. He lost both legs in a time when disability was seen as a barrier to achievement, but refused to be sidelined. He taught himself to walk on two "tin legs", without even using walking sticks, and eventually flew fighter planes in the second world war. For a brief summary of his life, look here.

I didn't see a reference in that article to something Stubbs and his guest talked about - the fact that the Germans allowed a British plane to fly over their territory during the war to drop a prosthetic leg to replace the one Bader had lost when he was captured.

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