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Posted By: Walter F. Mathers on: 05/25/2002 08:31:26 CDT
Subject: Snd'g Msg in German (At Ground Level)

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Ah! Indeed! Your grasp at 'Ancient Recall' is commendable concerning the putting up of a certain message on the fields of Gettysburg (albeit in German).

T'was true that the incident occur'd prior to our 'semi-official' programme with the visiting (former) Defence Intelligence College (DIC) and, I assure you Sir that it created a true chuckle for all concerned even when later related to the DIC gathering.

Many tourists approached my station with much curiousity that day. Since Lieut. Siemsen and I were in the process of pre-event warm-up, we thought it acceptable to encourage passers-by to 'put up' their own messages. When two pretty ladies happen'd by, I advanced the same offer I had given to other tourists. The one girl said that she had nothing to say, and that her companion spoke only German. Instantly knowing that this would surely fly (by flag that is) I said that if this lady's friend would wish to write down a few words of greeting in her native tongue I would be honoured to transmit it up the line and look for an answer.

The message was but a few words, but as they were, of course, given in German (and not abreviated), they consisted of a few more characters than had they been put up in English ;)

Soon after my flag finished it's last florish (Steve and I also served as our own flagmen that day), shall we say a bit of a pause ensued which caused a somewhat state of mild nervousness on my part.

Had I blown it for our overseas visitor? In the middle of this pondering I began to realize that Stephen was waving frantically for attention in my direction. Once I acknowledged his call, I began receiving a string of L*O*N*G un-intelligable words. As soon as the message was 'taken down' the ladies asked to know the import of Stephen's reply. I gave them both a sheepish grin and said, "I don't know ~ as you see, it appears to be written in German. Having no command whatsoever of this paticular language myself I handed the message blank to them with a big broad smile and said "You'd better read it yourself. It appears to be FOR YOUR EYES ONLY." 3.3.3.

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