People turned their eyes to the skies Tuesday as two of America's patriotic icons honored those on the front lines of the fight against the new coronavirus.
The high-speed Blue Angels and Thunderbirds took part in the flyover honoring first responders and essential workers in the Philadelphia and Trenton regions helping others during the coronavirus pandemic.
The joint flyover by Air Force and Navy aircraft took place over Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware, on Tuesday afternoon as the military flight demonstration squadrons focused on honoring front-line workers in some of the places hardest-hit by COVID-19.
A total of 12 fighter jets, including six of the Blue Angels' F-18 Hornets and six of the Thunderbids' F-16 Fighting Falcons, took part in the flight.
“We hope to give Americans a touching display of American resolve that honors those serving on the front line of our fight with COVID-19,” U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. John Caldwell, Thunderbird 1 and mission commander for the flyover, said in a news release before the event.
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People lined up from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to the Schuylkill River to catch the patriotic spectacle.
"It's important to stay positive in a time of a lot of negativity going arund and a lot of stress," Maxwell Timmeny of Doylestown said. "I think it is important, stay at a safe distance but to bring some positivity, this is what we need."
In addition to the northeast, flyovers will be conducted in communities across the country in the next two weeks. The flyovers won't cost taxpayers, according to the Trump Administration.
These were some of the earlier questions about the “America Strong” flyover event and answers:
When and Where Did the Flyover Take Place?
The Philly/Trenton flyover started when the aircraft took off from Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst at 1:45 p.m. The airplanes then looped over Trenton and Levittown, Pennsylvania, before flying over the Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, area at 1:55 p.m. The planes made a few loops over the Philly area before ending the flight around 2:15 p.m. south of Wilmington, Delaware.
Why Are the Military Flight Teams Taking to the Skies?
The event is part of the military’s larger #AmericaStrong campaign that is bringing the flight teams that normally take part in air shows to cities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re excited to fly over cities across America as our way of saying thanks to the health care workers, first responders, and all the people who selflessly run into the breach working to keep America strong,” Gen. Dave Goldfein, chief of staff of the Air Force, and Adm. Michael Gilday, chief of naval operations, said in a joint statement. “This is also our way of showing that we are all in this together and that America’s spirit will prevail.”