The purpose of the fly-in was to honor the veterans, said Regina Alexander, wife of Peachstate Aerodrome and Candler Field Museum owner Ron Alexander.
Last year’s event drew a crowd of about 700. This year there were not as many, but those who attended were treated to a wide display of antique and vintage aircraft as well as a biplane ride and other exhibits.
Commander Daniel Hamm, of the fourth district of Veterans of Foreign Wars, reiterated that Veterans Day is a time to “reflect and remember those who sacrificed so much.
“Today we honor the sacrifices of 25 million veterans living today,” Hamm said prior to the presentation of colors by the Griffin High School ROTC.
And, before keynote speaker and World War II P-51 Mustang pilot Punchy Powell spoke, members of the Alabama Air National Guard performed a missing man formation fly-over to honor fallen veterans.
“It’s the veteran, not the preacher, who have us the freedom of religion,” Powell said as began to credit veterans with a litany of freedoms.
But the accolades turned to despair when he spoke of one group of veterans.
“I feel sorry for the Vietnam veterans,” he said. “When I came back in 1944, we were welcomed with open arms. The same happened when I came back from Korea. But the Vietnam veterans were spit upon when they came back. That’s the shame of America.”
The one-hour program ended with a fly-by of a T-6 World War II training aircraft.