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EAA’s Annual Memorial Wall Ceremony
A Solemn Sunday Tradition
July 31, 2016 - EAA AirVenture Oshkosh has many traditions, none more poignant than the annual Sunday morning EAA Memorial Wall enshrinement dedication. This year’s dedication was favored with perfect weather, and a strong and supportive turnout.
EAA’s Robin Kasel opened with a quote that is widely attributed to Renaissance visionary Leonardo da Vinci: “For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the Earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” She then told those in
in attendance that the honorees that morning were a varied group; engineers, mechanics, teachers, builders, and test pilots, all sharing the common bond that makes them part of the family of flight.
EAA chaplain Cam Martin welcomed everyone and read the touching pilot’s prayer, Fellowship of Flight, authored by well-known EAA member, the late Rev. John W. MacGillivray. MacGillivray donated his prized de Havilland Canada DH.82C Tiger Moth to the EAA museum in 1964, and it was displayed on the grass near the ceremony, its brilliant yellow wings offering a gently bright counterpoint to the otherwise solemn ceremony.
Fellowship of Flight
Lord and maker of all things,
Bless the hands that fashion wings,
Forming beauty, faith and hope,
Of lowly things, like wood and dope.
Bless each fresh new eager span
Sprung from careful thought and plan;
Bless the ancient, tried and true
That ventured first through heaven’s blue.
May this fellowship of flight,
Choose what’s best, but first what’s right.
United here, through flight, may we
Together, share eternity.
After EAA Chairman and CEO Jack J. Pelton finished reading the names of this year’s departed members, a lone bugle played the sad, slow strains of taps, while an elder veteran temporarily eschewed his cane to stand at attention and salute. Shortly thereafter, a number of air show performers saluted the gathering with a flyover, followed by the always heartbreaking sight of a missing-man formation, flown this year by the AeroShell Aerobatic Team.
Martin closed with a benediction followed by a reception for attendees was held in the nearby hospitality tent.