In June 1948, the Soviets blockaded West Berlin, threatening it with starvation. U. S. and allied air forces began the Herculean task of supplying the city by air.
During the “Berlin airlift,” allied pilots—some of whom had leveled the Nazi capital just three years before—delivered nearly 13,000 tons of supplies a day to their former enemies.
One of the Airlift’s most enduring characters is U.S. pilot Gail Halvorsen, who was known as “the candy bomber,” because he dropped gum and candy to the children of Berlin.
Ninety-eight-year old Halvorsen returned to Berlin last weekend as Germany celebrated the 70th anniversary of the end of the blockade. Grateful Berliners named the Tempelhof Airport baseball field after him.
As my colleague Tim Padgett wrote me, “World War II had to happen, but once the war was over, brave men like Halvorsen worked to restore all things.”
What a beautiful reminder that we humans most clearly reflect the image of God when we forgive and join God’s work of restoration.
Image: Berlin children waving to USAF transport, Google Images