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ARVADA, Colo. —  Two strangers serendipitously bonded had something in common: They both inspired people far and wide.

Mary has read Adam Makos’ book “A Higher Call” three times. It’s the true story of German fighter pilot Franz Stiegler’s decision to selflessly escort American pilot Charlie Brown to safety.

“Two people that were supposed to hate each other and kill each other– end up being friends,” Mary said.

She said her now-famous hug was motivated by the people depicted in those pages.

“I hope everybody learns how to respect uniforms — military, law enforcement and fire departments. They all risk limb and life,” Mary said.

This lesson took hold with Mary and her husband, who was a Korean War veteran. After her simple act of kindness, hugging a police officer, she got a surprise of her own: A visit from the author himself, Adam Makos.  He is a Colorado resident who happens to be Mary’s neighbor.

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Then after hours of storytelling and exchanging memories, Adam gave Mary a gift: The painting of the inspiring book’s cover art.

“I thought if you hang this up, it’ll remind you every day of the bravery of these men,” Makos said.

At first speechless, then without a pause, Mary knew right where the picture belonged in her home. Sometimes, there are stories worth remembering and retelling and even after years past, kindness comes full circle.

Makos also gave Mary a copy of his new book, which has not been released and they plan to stay in contact.