My old flag

The only thing this posting has in common with Hexagon is that I   survived some terrible experiences during World War II, otherwise I would not have had the opportunity to work on this “career job.”

 Most of you with whom I worked for so long at PE do not know that I am a Holocaust survivor. I was born in Belgium and when the Nazis invaded my parents and I escaped to France. We were in hiding there for 5 years in various locations. In 1944 at the age of seven I was separated from my parents. I was sheltered by a kind Catholic family in a small village that happened to be a center for the French underground.

 Not only did I live and witness many shootings, bombings, killings and extremely frightening things, I was so lonely and heartsick being separated from my parents. I am still somewhat traumatized by this. Fortunately we were eventually re-united.

 When the United States army started liberating France in September of 1944, during a rare visit by my parents to this village, my mother made me a French flag to wave to the liberating troops as they were to pass by that village. This is a photo of that 75-year old moth eaten flag that I have hanging in my office in archival protective material.

French flag.jpg

I personally drew with a light blue color pencil the “Cross of Lorraine” symbol of Charles De Gaulle’s Free French group in the middle of the flag. It is one of the few articles I have of my youth other than my memories.

 These experiences are why I totally understand and empathize about the horrible and cruel treatment of today’s immigrant children separated from their parent and caged in this country’s crowded “concentration camps.” It is inhumane treatment and needs to be stopped. This is my political statement.

 Immigrants were and are major contributors to most of the major American milestones, scientific, art, music, sports, health, technology and literature.

 Phil Pressel