Norwood Thomas is a 93-year-old veteran who fought in World War II. During the war, he met a girl.
Shortly before parachuting into Normandy with the 101st Airborne, Thomas met Joyce Durant along the River Thames.
She was “a pretty little thing,” Thomas recalled to The Virginian-Pilot.
Thomas and Durant fell in love. To this day, he remembers her laugh and can even recite her old mailing address from memory — it was the address to which he sent letters and gifts shortly after the war.
Thomas would have married her, he says. But fate had other plans.
Before long, time, distance, and the war drove them apart. Thomas moved to North Carolina and got married to “a good woman,” he recalls, “who helped my mixed-up head get straight.”
But … he always thought about the one that got away.
Joyce, it turned out, hadn’t stopped thinking about him either.
She, like Thomas, got married after they lost touch. She goes by Joyce Morris now and lives in Australia. One day, while her son was fixing her computer, she asked if it was possible to “find people on that thing.”
After 70 years apart, it only took a couple of Google searches for the war-time lovebirds to be reunited over Skype.
Morris told Thomas that she still has a picture of him that she says “good morning” to every day.
“Just remember,” Thomas replied, “that I will say ‘good morning’ back to you.”
The power of technology to bring people together is truly amazing.
As their story quickly spread around the Internet, people have raised over $7,000 in donations to fund an in-person reunion for the couple.
Stories like this are a reminder of just how far technology can evolve in a lifetime. It wasn’t that long ago that if you lost touch with someone, it was unlikely you’d ever hear from them again — especially if they lived on a different continent.
Thanks to the power of the information age and the donations of over 300 strangers, one of the most romantic reunions of the century is about to take place.
Air New Zealand also stepped up to send Thomas and his son to Australia, where he and Joyce Morris will spend Valentine’s Day together.
What’s that? No, I’m not crying. I just have something in my eye. Eyes. Both eyes.