Hey, little buddies!
We all want to be loved, don’t we? One of the things that make life worth living is the feeling that others love us and we love them. The true test of love is not what we say, but what we do. It’s easy to say that we love people, but it’s when we have to sacrifice something for someone else that we prove that we really love them.
Captain Eddie Simpson gave his life in proving his love for his friends. His story is told in our audio book, Portraits of Integrity. Simpson was an American pilot in World War II. His plane was shot down over Nazi-occupied territory and he was picked up by some French resistance fighters. This small group of men was one of many who fought behind enemy lines to drive the German invaders from their homeland. When their wilderness camp was discovered by the Nazis, the freedom fighters quickly packed up and left. But the Germans came after them in a convoy of trucks and soon a race for life began.
The resistance fighters fled in a group of captured German trucks. Simpson was riding in the last one in line. When he and his comrades saw that the Germans were catching up to them, one of the men shouted to the driver to slow down and let them jump out. Then the truck drew away, leaving a handful of brave men to face the Nazis with no hope of surviving.
But Simpson and his new friends were determined to hold the enemy up long enough for their comrades to escape. They quickly set up a machine gun in the road and destroyed the lead truck in the Nazi convoy as soon as it came within range. Other trucks full of Nazi soldiers jammed the narrow road behind the wrecked vehicle. The freedom fighters alternated between destroying more trucks and firing at the attacking German soldiers who swarmed from them.
In a few minutes it was all over and a terrible quiet reigned over the little battlefield. Simpson and his mates lay dead in the road. But they had traded their lives for enough time for their comrades to get far ahead of their enemies. All the other freedom fighters escaped to join other groups and fight on.
Eddie Simpson loved his comrades and he loved freedom. He may never have said so, but his actions spoke so loudly that we still honor him today.