Monthly Article Archives: November 2017

Hudner and Brown: “Together in Heaven”Robert Brooks, Ph.D.

Thomas Hudner, a resident of Concord, Massachusetts, died at the age of 93 on November 13, 2017.  The man with whom he had been linked for 67 years, Jesse Brown, died in North Korea on December 4, 1950.  They conducted their lives with dignity, courage, tolerance, perseverance, and purpose.  In a world filled with stress and anxiety, with far too much divisiveness and too little empathy and respect for people from different backgrounds, races, religions, sexual orientations, or political viewpoints, we can all learn important lessons from these two men.  Their legacy is profound. I had heard of their story on a few occasions during the past few years.  Kevin Cullen, one of my favorite Boston Globe columnists, wrote an article about them in May, 2016.  Both Hudner and Brown were US Navy pilots in the Korean War.  They became friends who shared the skies together, but their backgrounds were strikingly different, which makes their story even more remarkable. Brown was the son of Mississippi sharecroppers and the first African-American to serve as a naval aviator.   Hudner was white, the son of a wealthy New England family, and a graduate of the United States Naval Academy.  In 1950, Brown was

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