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The Last Flight


The Last Flight

In memory of Paul Virgil Kirkham – a young USAAF pilot


It´s late Sunday afternoon and I am standing quietly in front of a small memorial in a green forest near to Trhanov Castle.
Gentle breeze refreshes my cheeks and I am feeling so strangely and solemnly on this special place. It seems to me that all the trees around me are whispering your precious first name: Paul… Paul…Paul….. 
And just at that moment the silent sound of church bells started to be heard from the nearby village: ding-dong….ding-dong…..ding-dong …..
And their ringing resembles me your family name: Kirk-ham…Kirk-ham… Kirk- ham….  Unbelievable experience!
I am looking at a picture of you – a young handsome American pilot – and in my memories I return back to early Summer 1945 when I first came to this special place. Place, where your plane crashed on 30th April of that year, after a hard combat with Germans – and where you tragically lost your precious life…..
Suddenly a small white dove sat down on your headstone and his eyes looked directly at me… Isn´t that your soul, dear Paul? Maybe that you are coming here to watch how Czech people still remember you and your sacrifice!
Who knows….
Clouds are flying in the blue sky above me and I am feeling myself again as a small  boy who came here together with his parents and who started to collect for memory some small pieces of your crashed airplane which were still scattered around at that time. 
And – imagine – all these small pieces I am cherishing in my home untill now!
And each year I remember you and your last flight together with my family and we always light a small candle on your memory. 
My face has changed a lot since that time – but you, Paul, are still looking so young on the memorial picture! 
You – a young American pilot – who came to help our nation to be free again and who put the highest sacrifice on the altar of our beautiful Czech country. 
And I would like to thank you from all my heart so much again for that martial deed! 
Paul, your gentle smile will never get out of my mind! 
You are my special hero for ever. 


(Poem in prose written by Inka  from Prague in February 2013
and dedicated for memory to Mr. Marion Kirkham and his family at the occassion of  a festive meeting at      a memorial place of his brother´s crash in the forest near Újezd village – in  Šumava region)


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