some are blessed to be lucky in life. living a long fulfilling and meaningful life is all that we can ask. some are fortunate to have make a great achievement. some are also blessed to have a cool nickname.
harold “smoky” simon’s passing marks the end of such a great life. he leaves this world at 101 years old, with a cool nickname and a long and storied life. his life will be one that his family will speak of for generations.
for those unfamiliar with mr. simon, you can find an interview of him on nancy spielberg’s documentary “above and beyond .” the movie is currently can be streamed online for fee o tubi, the movie shows interviews of other pilots and their families as well.
the movie’s interviews include the pilots explaining their decision to leave their post-ww ii lives to join a fledgling air force and defend the inception of modern state of israel. most of the pilots doubted the state would survive an attack by its neighbors. they considered that they were taking part in perhaps a lost cause. most expressed that, in a post-holocaust world, they wanted to help their people fight.
smoky and his wife traveled to israel from their native south africa to both assist with the air force.
harold simon’s family can claim that smoky was there when the iaf literally got off the ground. he served with distinction in the independence day war. he then became the head of the first operation squadron post war. he flew in 24 missions and retired as a major. he is considered a founder of the iaf. he further served with military distinction as a pilot for the allies in ww ii and was part of the south african military.
after his service, he went into private business and enjoyed a career.
in researching this article, i found videos on youtube from family members concerning mr. simon. a birthday video gives you a taste of his life.
he continued his life adventure with his children. he is another video of his getting back into the skies.
children’s classroom assignments should reading about individuals such as mr. simon. students can only learn about how great one’s life journey by example.
presently, with the ukraine-russian conflict, news accounts report of those returning to their country to fight. this topic can be discussed. while such patriotic efforts are not for everyone. making a positive difference in this world is certainly icing on the cake for a great life.
thus, we wish condolences to the simon family on the passing of their “smoky.” his memory is truly a blessing.
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