News: Memorial Day on Long Island
(Long Island, N.Y.) Sunday's weather helped make The 8th Annual Bethpage Federal Credit Union Air Show memorable for Long Islanders choosing to spend their Memorial Day Weekend at Jones Beach. The Air Show, with its longstanding tradition and widespread following, is one of the top events of the holiday. Thousands of residents and visitors gathered at Jones Beach to honor troops, veterans, and those who have lost their lives while serving the country.
Long Island is known for its historic commitment to military aviation. With its many airports and programs for aviation engineering and study, Long Island has kept the tradition alive for those who are interested in planes and service. The American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport is one of many Long Island attractions for visitors wishing to learn about aviation history.
Decades ago, an estimated nine-thousand P-47 Thunderbolts were manufactured on Long Island. They are considered some of the rarest vintage aircrafts in addition to other WWII fighters, bombers, and patrol planes. Republic Aviation's P-47 Thunderbolt was also known as the "Jug," and considered one of the largest and most expensive aircrafts of the time.
The American Airpower Museum is open for weekends and highlights several features in this year's air show. Among the aircrafts that participated was the A B-29 Superfortress, which was once responsible for delivering atom bombs over Japan. The B-29 Superfortress was named after its predecessor and fellow air show participant the B-17 Flying Fortress.
The B-17 Flying Fortress was originally developed in the 1930s through a series of design advances. The B-25 Mitchell bomber was also featured in the show and is the only American military aircraft named after a pioneer in military aviation. Miraculously enough, many of these planes are still able to fly.
A P-51 Mustang from Warbirds Over Long Island participated in the show. The P-51 Mustang is a long-range single-seat World War II fighter aircraft that was later converted into a plane that is designed for civilian use and racing. It was the inspiration for the Ford Mustang vehicle.
Other planes that participated were an Oracle III biplane and an F-22, which is a modern military fighting aircraft. A highlight of the show is the precision performance from the Iron Eagles. They are custom built bi-planes that delight in wowing viewers with loops, corkscrew turns, and close-separation flying. They are able to fly as close as four to six feet during specific moments of the performance.
Memorial Day Weekend is celebrated differently in other parts of the tri-state area. One service in Connecticut began with a flag-raising ceremony and reciting the names of local veterans who have passed since the previous year's event. The ceremony also succeeded in honoring those who were lost at sea.
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