There's a white-haired Spokane man whose older brother died in 1943 when his B-17 collided in midair with an on-fire German fighter over The Netherlands.
I have talked to this gentleman several times over the years. I know he's on the level. But I hadn't met him in person until today.
He has exhaustively researched what happened on that day 69 years ago, including making a trip to Europe. He met with members of the family that has for generations farmed the land where the Flying Fortress crashed. They gave him a couple of small pieces of the doomed B-17 that had been kept in a barn since the war.
There's a finger-sized piece of shattered plexiglass and a small, rusted temperature gauge.
Today he brought them to the newspaper to show me.
Handling these artifacts was a bit surreal. I don't suppose I will forget it.