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Congressional budget cuts are impacting the very way we honor Americas heroes who’ve paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Air shows and flyovers nationwide have been cut from the military’s budget.
But one couple is showing us that it doesn’t take big jets or helicopters to honor our nations vets. All you need is a willing heart.
For decades, the Vietnam Veterans Candlelight Ceremony wraps up with a flyover to honor those who have died while serving our country and for those still missing in action.
It was a 33-year tradition, that would have ended this year due to the budget cuts caused by sequester. But that’s where Harry Green comes into the picture.
“This was going to be the first year they’ve never had a fly-by and it appears this will be the only fly-by for the entire weekend,” pilot Harry Green said.
An answered prayer to those who work hard every year to make this ceremony a memorable one.
“This young man who’s an active duty lieutenant commander for the Coast Guard said we want to show our veterans and families those proceeded us that we have not forgotten them,” National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific director Gene Castagnetti said.
So following the 21-gun salute and playing of taps, Green and his wife Evelyn, will be flying their 1941 Stearman biplane over Punchbowl Cemetery. The same type of plane that many World War II pilots learned to fly in.
“If you flew a fighter or bomber in World War II, you most likely trained in this air frame. This one served in Georgia and Florida throughout the war,” explained Green.
On Sunday this 73-year-old plane will be making perhaps the most meaningful mission of her life.
“It’s important as a community as a country we come together at times of diversity and we’ve always done that. We need to remember these people we cant forget them. We’re living this lifestyle in America, the greatest on the earth, because of their sacrifices,” said Green.
Green hopes this will inspire others to step up and serve where they can.
The candlelight ceremony begins Sunday at 5 p.m. and is open to the public.