NBAA and Relay in the Sky
Recently, the Spirit of Liberty Foundation hosted “America’s Operation Thank You: Relay in the Sky”, which was a tribute to the first responders and health care professionals working through the Coronavirus pandemic. It began on September 24th, in San Diego, California, and concluded with a closing ceremony in Washington D.C. on October 30th.
After arriving in D.C., more than 100 first responders and healthcare workers carried the Spirit of Liberty Torch, Love Healthcare Heroes Flag, and America’s Flag, which is a flag with all 50 state flags sewn into one from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.
The relay was supported by many in the aviation industry, such as the NBAA, Commemorative Air Force, Experimental Aircraft Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, and major FBOs like Atlantic Aviation and Signature Flight Support.
Alex Gertsen, NBAA director of airports and ground infrastructure, said that the relay was a way for the aviation community to recognize healthcare workers who are overcoming a lot of risk to themselves to care for other people during the pandemic. He represented the association in the relay.
Gertsen noted that business aviation has been a crucial part of pandemic aid, with flying patients, moving samples, and transporting supplies. The relay was a way to make aviation’s role in the recovery more visible to the general public.
Gertsen also emphasized that events like these can help to not only keep communities connected but also promote the myriad of ways general aviation can aid in that task. It’s wonderful to see how we can use aviation to better our world in different ways!
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