One of the great pleasures of living in Colorado Springs is that we are home to the United States Air Force Academy. Doug and I are doubly blessed in that we live very close to the AFA and every May we get a spectacular free air show as the cadets graduate and the Thunderbirds pay tribute to the graduates!
We were nervous this year as we had 5 days of rain in a row- a somewhat rare, especially in May. Aparently, there has been an outdoor ceremony ever year since 1959, so I’m sure students an parents alike were concerned that this year might break the long standng record. Good ole Mother came through for us as Graduation Day was met with blue skies and faint traces of white clouds.
It is truly a spectacular site seeing the Thunderbirds fly over – again and again. We get such a surge of patriotism as we see these gifted pilots fly in formation and perform precision acrobatics that only talent and practice, practice, practice can demon state. The “show” starts a couple days in advance of graduation as the jets arrive here from their home at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. We have a spectacular view from our house or anywhere in our neighborhood and they do their “fly-overs”. Just south of our house they banki their turns and head over the valley and whoosh they are back again.
We always know when they are here. Colorado Springs is a pretty quite town and especially on the north side of town where the Academy is and where we live. You just don’t hear much noise except for an occasional lawn mower and the faint buzz of the small planes and practice gliders. The sound is unmistakable. My heartbeat always accelerates when the mild roar is heard and as I make a quick run to the windows to try to catch a glimpse of the F16′s. We look forward to this every year. And, now that graduation is over, we know they’ll be back this Fall. They come back every year for football season – just a couple of games – military academy against military academy.
There’s nothing like this. Seeing people stand in the parks, in their yards, or by special permission park on the side of the freeway. For a few minutes we are all united. No politics, no right or left. We stand there and watch the best of the best and know that this is the greatest country in the world.