This WWII veteran’s love stood the test of time and with that, the couple has proved to the world that anything is possible if you just believe and begin! Let’s go back to the year 1944 when a 21-year-old G.I., Norwood Thomas, was stationed outside London. During his time there, he met 17-year-old Joyce Durant and fell head over heels in love with her.
According to him, the day he first saw her, he knew he wanted to marry her. Durant too was in love with the young soldier and the two exchanged many letters and gifts throughout WWII. On D-Day, he told Durant that he’d see her again soon before parachuting into Normandy with the 101st Airborne. That, sadly, was the last time they saw each other. After the war, the couple swapped a few letters but soon the communication between them broke down.
In one of the letters, Thomas requested Durant to move to the USA so they could get married. However, Durant misunderstood and thought Thomas had found someone else and eventually stopped writing. It wasn’t long before Durant moved to Australia and they married different people, but in 2001, Thomas’ wife passed away and 30 years later Durant divorced her husband. According to Thomas, Durant was the girl who got away.
In 2016, when Durant got a computer, she requested her son to help track Thomas, or Tommy, as she knew him. During their search, they found his name in The Virginian-Pilot newspaper that featured an article about D-Day and that’s when they reconnected via Skype… 70 years later. Durant was now 88 years old, divorced, and living in Australia whereas Thomas was nearly 93, a widower living in the USA. The time they spent together on Skype they only wished they could hug each other again after seven decades!
After their story went viral, thousands of people donated to true love and it was Air New Zealand that arranged a flight. And so, with the help of a generous GoFundMe page and Air New Zealand’s business class ticket, the brave lovestruck WWII veteran began his 10,500-mile journey to Australia to meet the love of his life. As fate would have it, they met in person after 70 long years on Valentine’s Day! When they saw each other, they shared a long embrace and recollected the memories they had together many decades ago.
According to Durant, someone who loves you, even in the later years of life, is special, and we agree! People who were there to see the reunion, including their children, were awestruck by the love the couple had for each other. They spent the entire Valentine’s Day together in each other’s arms, however, in December 2016, Durant breathed her last, leaving Thomas heartbroken yet again.
But instead of letting grief pull him down, Thomas continued to live his life, fulfilling his obligations towards his family and friends. He did that for five more years and at 98 he too peacefully passed away in his sleep on the 24th of January 2021. With the pandemic ravaging the country, Thomas and his family wished for a simple funeral for everyone’s safety and on the 6th of March 2021, the family held a socially distanced masked Celebration of Life at the Grace Bible Church in Virginia Beach. While we’re sad Thomas and Durant have passed on, we believe that true love knows no bounds and that they’re together in spirit.
If you could pay your tribute to WWII veteran Thomas and Durant, what would it be? Let us know in the comments below. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends!