A homeowner in Waukesha for 20 years, Steve is president of the Waukesha Dog Parks Organization and enjoys motorcycling, fishing and staying on top of politics.
As a pilot, I am captivated by things aviation and this week and next are real doozies! I am tying the US Airways forced landing into the Hudson River and the inauguration next week together. Stay with me on this.
Having myself, lost all power on takeoff and surviving a crash, I feel a kinship with Capt. Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger. I know what it is like to suddenly have to find a place to set down when you lose power at the worst possible time. I won't recount the US Airways event or even call it a crash. It could have been, but wasn't. Suffice it to say, any pilot, especially one who has been in a similar situation, is celebrating in their own way on the successful ditching of the plane and the lack of any fatal injuries. As a Hero, Captain Sullenberger is joined by many people. His crew, level headed passengers and certainly the New Yorkers who recognized the call to action. It makes me feel good entering into the inauguration. Any other outcome of the even would have dampened spirits across the country.
So how does this tie together. I've had a bunch of personal Heroes for a long time. They are the Tuskegee Airmen. The first all black group of military pilots. While facing prejudice and discrimination both inside and outside of the ranks, they have the enviable record of escorting many a bomber during WWII and never have one lost to enemy fire. One of my favorite movies is "The Tuskegee Airmen" and a favorite scene is a pair of AT-6 trainers (I'm thinking of you Alex) making a forced landing on a road where a prison chain gang were working. The reaction by the black prisoners and the white prison guards when the pilots removed their goggles and helmets are burned in my mind.
At the inauguration, there will be 200 of the surviving Tuskegee Airmen attending. As much as I remember the expressions on the faces of the actors, I even more wish to see the expressions on these fellow pilots! Thank you for your service during difficult times. You are among my Heroes.