Dear Volunteers and Supporters of the E1 Restoration:

In 1946 or so, they made a movie called "The Best Years of our Lives"  Don't know if you've seen it?  I've watched it many times.  It's the story of returning GI's transitioning to civilian life, and their difficulties doing so.

Turns out, the war, with all it's death and destruction, hardship and privation also had a positive side.  It was living life to the fullest, living with indescribable intensity, building friendships and human bonds, that were closer than blood relations.  And, it lasted for a lifetime.  The participants truly became a Band of Brothers.  And only they could understand this bond.

And, so have we.  For the past year, and especially for the past two months, we have forged that sort of experience, and, although they were not shooting at us, we survived many physical challenges involving unbelievably long hours, cold, rain, wind and darkness - while we pursued our noble cause, of restoring an historic and very beautiful airplane to a condition that would allow her to take to the skies one more time.

Like WW II, this is a battle that we won.  We were challenged on every front, and we won on every front, winning on-time and in great style.  All of us can be proud of what we accomplished.  And, now that it is done, we can rest a bit on our oars, and savor the result.  No one can take what we have collectively done from us, and no individual can sully the waters or tarnish the sparkling glory that will be ours always - for - we have earned it.

All of us have participated in a life-changing and never-to-be-forgotten experience.  It is something that will always be with us - always -  and will be a source of  pride and satisfaction for all of our days.  Not everyone has the good fortune to ever participate in such an endeavor during their entire lifetimes; to demonstrate and build the personal character that comes with it; and to create memories that can be shared with friends and grandkids alike for the rest of our lives.

Know that I will be eternally grateful, for all the tasks, big and small, from people - some of whom I didn't even know - who volunteered and stepped up to the plate, always, it seemed,  at just the right time, like God-sent commandos,  picking up the torch and carrying it for the next few yards or the next few miles.  God Bless you all.

Bob Bogash



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