Five days before Christmas 1943, a helpless American bomber pilot locked eyes with a German fighter pilot over the frozen skies of Europe. The German didn’t pull the trigger, he nodded at Brown instead. The German pilot spared the life of the American and both men would reunite and become friends 50 years later. Franz Stigler and Charles Brown started as was enemies, but during a tense wartime encounter, both men discovered a higher call.
It’s called the warrior’s code, say, soldiers and military scholars. Most warrior cultures share one belief, “There is something worse than death, and one of those things is to completely lose your humanity.”