A Friendship from World War II is Shared in Bangor 

A friendship that took root during World War Two and has endured through generations, was on public display in bangor today.It’s the story of a local man who was wounded in Germany, and a German woman who came to his aid, as well as his fellow soldiers.”She went from man to man treating and bandaging wounds. She made several trips into her house for more clean white bed sheets. Mrs. Hagemann didn’t ask for thanks. She didn’t expect any. She spoke no English but she was doing what needed to be done.”And that’s how the nearly sixty-five year old friendship between Galen Cole and the Hagemann family began.Cole says he always wanted to return to Germany and give proper thanks to Klara Hagemann for all she did to help the wounded from the Fifth Armored. “That was my intention when I first returned to Europe in 1964. (12:33) I found the farm but it had been nineteen years before I could arrange a trip back there, and Grandmother Hagemann had died.”But who he did find was Klara’s son Theodore and his wife Elizabeth, who are both now deceased, and their six children including Irmgard.On one visit Galen decided it was his turn to prepare dinner. A dinner that he’s always remembered. ” After we adults had spoken, the near perfect English words of then eleven year old Irmgard, now the mother of Jonas and Lukas stand out. Irmgard stood up and stated in part, ” This evening and all that it means to us has happened because of the caring of my grandmother. She was a very kind and special person. That help of my grandmother was surely a gift from Heaven.”And Irmgard, her husband and two sons have come to the United States for the first time and are visiting Galen right here in Bangor. ” I feel I am not alone here my parents and my grandmother are here with me and standing behind me and I think they want me to be here.”Irmgard says the trip has allowed her to become close friends with Galen’s daughter Janet.She says she is surprised at the similarities they share.”of course it’s another culture but the main thing you have to take care of your sons and your husband.”Irmgard says she is grateful she and her family were able to make the trip.She says throughout the trip she has carried a lesson her mother taught her.”My mother was never able to speak English but she always found a way to stay in contact with Galen. She didn’t care so much about limits of language. She always taught me I am able to understand what they want to tell me.”And what will Irmgard take back to Germany with her?”All the people around here being so nice.”But she will leave one thing behind, a peace candle that she placed on the grave of Charlie fFanagan, a World War Two casualty and friend of Galen Cole.Irmgard says the peace candle represents how different the times are now from back in 1945.