On April 28, 2020, the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force’s Thunderbirds performed a tribute to COVID-19 frontline workers in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.
The flyover was part of “Operation America Strong” which was put together by military officials at the Pentagon as a way to bring the nation together and to honor healthcare workers who are on the frontlines fighting this pandemic. Footage captured during the flight shows the aircraft flying near famous New York Landmarks like the Freedom Tower and the Brooklyn Bridge.
We salute the healthcare workers and first responders who are at the forefront of our nation’s fight against COVID-19. They are an inspiration for the entire country during these challenging times and it was an honor to fly for them today. #AmericaStrong #InThisTogether pic.twitter.com/rirX3BayTI
— Thunderbirds (@AFThunderbirds) April 28, 2020
The two flight teams have been scheduled to fly over a number of American cities over the next few weeks. The Washington Post interviewed a Senior Military official who stated,
“This is just a sincere thank you. It’s one way to acknowledge those who are pitching in.”
Let's all take a moment to thank our healthcare workers right here 👏 https://t.co/Eb0egFotjO
— Blue Angels (@BlueAngels) April 28, 2020
Both the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds were founded to raise public interest in military aviation and to boost the morale of the troops. As our healthcare workers have become soldiers fighting on the frontlines against this virus, “Operation America Strong” is the perfect way to acknowledge and honor them.
The flyovers fulfill training requirements for the pilots, who are required to fly a minimum number of hours. Since both flight teams have had to cancel many performances since the virus outbreak, the flyovers have already been budgeted and will not require any additional costs to taxpayers.
Watch the video below of the NYC flyover from the view of a Blue Angel.