March 12, 2009

Lifelong friends in one last dive

From the Daily Undertaker comes a story of Parachutes and Lawn Chairs

The ashes of two unlikely friends dropped from the sky Saturday to be buried at the Center of the World.  One man belonged to the Hitler Youth as a child. The other survived a concentration camp.  However unlikely, Wolfgang Lieschke and Herbert Loebel did become friends as adults living in America. In accordance with their families' wishes, the West Point Parachute Team delivered the men's ashes to their novel and final resting place Saturday.

The ashes were dropped by parachute and buried at the Center of the World. The popular tourist attraction is located west of Yuma, along Interstate 8, in Felicity, Calif.

"Both were eminent men in their era who became close friends and who will rest together in consecrated ground," said Jacques-Andre Istel, the mayor of Felicity and friend of both men. "Both had close links to parachuting and both served humanity."

Often called "the father of American skydiving," Istel trained the Army's first free-fall parachute team, which led to the creation of the Golden Knights.
Istel organized a sizable celebration Saturday, full of ceremony and military pageantry. The U.S. Marine Corps Drum and Bugle Corps played taps, and the Golden Knights Army Parachute Team performed an air-to-ground salute. The U.S. Marine Corps Color Guard also made an appearance.

Posted by Jill Fallon at March 12, 2009 10:18 PM | Permalink