Colorado

May 27, 2013 8:01 PM by Andy Koen

Restored WWII planes land in Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS - A flying reminder of the sacrifices of World War II Veterans landed in Colorado Springs this afternoon. The B-17 Flying Fortress "Sentimental Journey" along with an escort of P-51 Mustangs arrived at the Colorado Jet Center just after 2:00 p.m. Monday.

The pilots and airmen of the Mile High Wing of the Commemorative Air Force will be flying their restored planes during Air Force Academy Graduation activities this week.

"It gives us the opportunity to share these historic warbirds with the rest of the general public," said Wing Executive John Huguley.

He feels a patriotic duty to keep these the planes restored in flying.

"It's these men and the people that worked on these aircraft that gave us the freedoms that we have today," Huguley said. "To keep this history flying is something that I'll give every ounce of my effort to do."

That same appreciation for service and sacrifice drew people to memorial park this afternoon as well, each paying respect in their own private way.

Sheila and Earl Aldrich came to visit the monuments. Earl is a veteran of the Marine Corps and their grandson is also recent 1st Lieutenant.

"We owe so much to them, we have a great country and it's all because of them," Sheila said.

Emotions were particularly strong at Fort Carson's Fallen Soldiers Memorial. Some brought flowers and wreaths, other brought miniature American flags as a tribute to those who recently gave their lives in service to country.

The Commemorative Air Force pilots will keep their planes in town through Thursday. After their commitments to Air Force Academy are fulfilled, they will be giving tours and taking passengers on flights from the Jet Center. Flight reservations can be made by calling 602-448-9415 and are available on a first come first served basis.

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