Sunday, May 22, 2022


Seven years ago now we learned that our son William had been killed on this day while flying his water bomber fighting a forest fire in northern Alberta.  It never gets any easier.  But the famous poem 'High Flight' which I first read a few days after he died is how I remember Will.  He followed his dreams, and "slipped the surly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings"

'High Flight'
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of - wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious, burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew -
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high unsurpassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee


  1. It's certainly a beautiful eulogy for your son. So sorry you lost his physical being when he was so's always hard to be a parent outliving a child. I teared up reading about him here. My son was on the ground fighting wild fires for years...and I had to let go of his life and know it was in hands beyond my imagining. He lived through it and went on to finish his masters in college, and now is giving back by helping high school kids graduate and go to college, and getting paid for it!

  2. As long as you live, your memories of William will be with you. He was blessed to do the work he loved and the poem surely expresses the feelings of the pilots I've worked with in the past. My thoughts are with you both on this sad day.

  3. Joust over 20 years ago our son-in-law, Bill, died at age 35 as he was taking an after supper walk. All too many of the good people die too young and leave those they loved and loved them. William will always be with you in your memories just as Bill will always be with us. Keep those memories burning bright.

  4. Beautiful poem. You're in my thoughts as you remember your son.

  5. Thinking of you both as you remember William.

    All the best Jan

  6. I first heard that poem read aloud at an air show years ago as a glider pilot slowly turned and twirled while gracefully descending to earth. May the treasured memories of William stay in both your hearts and minds forever.

  7. The poem is entirely appropriate for him.

  8. Anniversaries bring back a flood of memories.

  9. Beautiful poem, I am so glad you get some comfort from it. I am certain the anniversaries are not easy for you and Mrs FG, sending good thoughts your way.

  10. Beautiful poem you shared. Good to read. Years go by but cherished memories from years past still come to mind. We were at a memorial service at church gym this afternoon in memory of Bill whose birthday was today. Maybe that's why there were cupcakes and other food afterwards. 🤔 He was a dear friend we miss. God bless today and beyond. 🇨🇦 🍁

  11. A beautiful poem and a fine tribute to a brave young man. Take care.

  12. For those who love, Time is eternity. William will always be with you, a day filled with sorrow, pride, joy and love, so many memories of your days together, and the words above, a wonderful tribute for William today.

  13. It must be such a sad day for you. Commiserations.

  14. The poem is so appropriate. I am so sorry for your loss. Having lost my first wife at the age of 30 I understand the feeling of uncontrolled loss.