Thursday, August 07, 2008

Real life hero, Eric Dowling (1915-2008), passes away

A great obituary in the London Times for a real life hero, Eric Dowling, who put his skills to a task none of us every hope to have to apply: Trying to escape from a Prisoner of War (POW) camp.

Eric Dowling hated the film, "The Great Escape" (1963), which was based on a book by one of his fellow POWs who were part of the same escape plot. However, the film is a sentimental favorite of mine. Despite knowing the mostly sad ending, and sensing that the entire Steve McQueen character was likely a fantasy and at best a composite, I still watch that film every time it is on television (such as just the other day on AMC...). Mr. Dowling objected to the film, for what are valid reasons. Still, the sense of comaraderie and collective effort against evil, and yet acting for self-preservation, are what makes the film both memorable and inspiring.

Eric Dowling is himself an inspiration and it is nice to know he lived a long and what appears to be a decent to good life.



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