New Church Life NCL May/June 2018 - Page 36

n e w c h u r c h l i f e : m ay / j u n e 2 0 1 8 accomplishment. No one wants war, yet the experiences of working with many others for that cause showed a great deal about human cooperation, remembered by those who gave of themselves then. We all have come to love and respect Fred Fiedler. A little boy after Pearl Harbor, when Americans were putting the cause first, Fred grew up also with spiritual concepts that explained why and how to value some causes as higher than oneself. Why? Because we and our world were created by a loving God whose goal is to bring cooperative usefulness and happiness throughout creation, to everyone here in this space-time world, and in the next life forever. How can a loving God’s purposes be carried out? Here especially the spiritual concepts in the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg helped Fred see God’s creation as inherently systemic, with rational order and comprehensible laws introduced by God into all creation, natural and spiritual. The universe makes sense if seen from science and corresponding spiritual causes. Growing up on a wheat farm in northeast Colorado, Fred had a full love of nature, including its inherent created order, and a love for exploring nature in new ways through sophisticated machinery. Two distant high school years at the Academy of the New Church in Pennsylvania, and a third at the small New Church College [in Bryn Athyn], taught Fred much about the principles of God’s spiritual order and about their corresponding components of order throughout nature. He was valedictorian for his high school class. A Congressional appointment brought him to the new Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs. After four hard-working years he graduated in 1962 with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science – his first of quite a few academic degrees, later in specialties such as aerospace management and different military sciences. Fred’s studies fit well with his understanding of the created world as ordered by God. Order in life and society enables human good will and mutual support to flourish. Order is for the sake of uses, getting things done. A working national defense makes possible a human society that is free, open, productive, and able to benefit all. Fred knew national defense cannot be taken for granted, but needs to be planned and provided as a country’s first need. Fred’s choice in serving the cause of national defense was flying, and fly he did, a lot – especially in the earlier years of his 30-year Air Force career. He flew as command pilot for 6,000 flying hours, in more than 50 different types of aircraft. This included 480 flying hours over southeast Asia, as well as 400 hours as a B-1 test pilot. Promoted to Wing Commander in 1984, and later to Air Division Commander, he was in command of several different Air Force bases, and later director for command and control for operations, Strategic Air Command 212