March 31, 2010
WTOL Vice President and General Manager Bob Chirdon
Arthur Jibillian died last week after a long battle with leukemia. His inspiring story as a hero of the World War II Forgotten 500 rescue mission of downed American pilots has received a lot of attention.
I last saw Mr. Jibillian at a rotary lunch in his honor. He reminded me, one more time, to call him Jibby -- even though the lunch was about him, he didn't want to talk about that. Instead, he thanked WTOL for the attention we helped bring to this remarkable war story.
Jibby was a humble man. He wanted this story told so that everyone involved could be recognized. He told it with the dignity of someone who knows he serves a purpose greater than self-praise.
As I think of him now, I wonder if we will ever have another generation that so loved our country.
Jibby and millions of young men, including my father, volunteered to fight in this awful war. It was a selfless, patriotic act.
Most came back expecting nothing more than the opportunity to get married and to find a place in this wonderful country and now there are very few remaining.
They will be missed, they must be remembered.
If you would like to get in touch with me, Aleksandra, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com