Sunday, May 29, 2016

Veterans Celebration & Air Show

When I was a kid, the significance of Memorial Day was mostly lost on me. The weekend was consumed by BBQs, pool openings and the joy of having the day off from school. Though my grandfather served as a medic in WWII and two of my uncles in the Vietnam War --remembering their service wasn't anything our family ever discussed or celebrated. Maybe because their memories were too painful.

However, since marrying Steve, a veteran himself, I've grown more sensitive and appreciative of his service and that of the thousands of men and women who have served or given their lives to protect our country's freedom. I want to celebrate beyond BBQs.

This morning at 7 a.m. we loaded up the kids and drove 120+ miles to take part in the 28th Annual Salute to Veterans Celebration and Air Show in Columbia, Missouri. In between moments of listening to our country's anthem, we heard tributes to honor and remember distinguished veterans. We toured the inside of the Navy's USN P-3 Orion. We watched the US Army Golden Knights demonstration team perform various maneuvers as their bodies hurled towards the ground at speeds up to 120 mph. We participated in the Rapid Strike full-simulator ride to experience a real Air Force mission including an F-22 flight, C-17 cargo drop, special operation ground surveillance, satellite communications and a Reaper missile strike. But, mostly - we just felt very grateful.

WWII P-51 Mustang
A-10 Thunderbolt
US Army Golden Knights

WWII BT-Vultee
WWI JN-4 Curtiss Jenny
Noah's favorite because it reminded him of the Indiana Jones movies.
We met up with our friends  - the Piccos who live in the area.

Noah - inside the P-3
Noah and Nat viewing inside the Show Me
1944 WWII B-25 Mitchell Bomber, known as Show Me

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