ALBANY, GA (WALB) – As the greatest generation ages, one Dougherty County Commissioner said it's more important that ever to honor the sacrifices they made.
Thursday he shared with us a piece of art, signed by two notable members of that generation, the captain and bombardier from the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb.
Commissioner Jack Stone was lucky enough to work with two men who served under Major Tom Ferebee the bombardier on the Enola Gay. The two forged a friendship and Commissioner Stone remembered that friend.
It's a piece of American history, the signatures of two men, who changed the course of World War II. Both have passed on which is why County Commissioner Jack Stone feels it's more important than ever to honor our Veterans.
"Every year at this time, there will be less and less of them and before too many years there's not going to be any of them, so it's like remember your mom and dad while they're living, not after their gone," said Dougherty County Commissioner Jack Stone.
Stone befriended this man, Major Thomas Ferebee later in life and talked with him about that day that they flew over Hiroshima.
"He was proud of what he'd done, he'd felt like he'd done the right thing and he'd felt like he'd saved thousands and thousands of American lives," said Stone.
He told Stone how the plane shook as they watched through special glasses, unsure if they'd survive.
"They didn't know exactly what was going to happen after they dropped the thing, they didn't know exactly what was going to happen they knew they were going to cut back wide and get out of there as soon as possible, but they didn't know exactly what was going to happen to them," said Stone.
Looking through old Hawaiian newspapers his brother in law's family collected from Pearl Harbor, Stone said that's what made them the greatest generation.
"If it took his life, if it was going to help this country to survive this war and get through it, that was okay too," said Stone.
That's why Veterans Day of all days, everyone should remember and honor that service.
Ferebee told Stone he felt he'd saved thousands of American lives and he had no regrets to what they did that day.
Major Tom Ferebee passed away in 2000. Col. Paul Tibbets died in November 2007. Tibbets had been stationed at Hunter Army Air Force Base in Savannah.