Saturday, November 22, 2008

Monroe Air Show Brings Back Memories

Guest Speaker - Astronaut Joe Edwards

Veterans and a Tuskegee Airman


The Monroe Veteran’s Day Celebration and Air Show presented by WARRIORS and WARBIRDS was a hugh success with more than 50,000 in attendance. The annual event at the Monroe Airport delivered as hoped!

"It's great," World War II veteran Floyd Harkey said. Standing back from a group of spectators lining the runway, Harkey recounted some of his experiences in Korea. Having served in the Air Force, he said he was familiar with many of the aircraft that were at the show, especially the P-51 and P-38 planes which he said were his favorite. Before the re-enactment of the bombing at Pearl Harbor, Harkey reflected on what the real bombing was like. He said he did not understand it at the time because he was only 15, but that he had to grow up fast after that and take on a lot of responsibility and maturity before going into the service. "I was proud to be able to do it," he said, adding that each of his three brothers also fought for their country. "I'd do it again in a minute if I could," he said. Now 82, Harkey proudly wore a hat marked "WW II Veteran" and still had a firm handshake. He didn't yell or point at the airplanes the way some youngsters did, but stood and just watched them as they flew past. "A lot of memories," he said. Another Veteran said that the Berlin Airlift Candy Bomber was the highlight of his day!

Other spectators had a different take on the show. Grant Sellers, 6, covered his ears as the planes roared overhead and said that getting to look inside the machines was his favorite part of the day. His 4-year-old brother, Logan Sellers, said he liked "the smoke coming out of the airplanes," the best and his head appeared to be on a swivel as he took it all in. Ten-year-old Caleigh Lovitt couldn't point to one event as her favorite, but said she really enjoyed watching the parachutists coming down from the sky, even adding that she was nervous for their safety.

Monroe spokesman Pete Hovanec said the event was "incredible." He added that there were 40 more planes on display than there were last year and that the "Tora-Tora-Tora" re-enactment alone would have made the event a success. "It's great out here," he said. "This is really going well."

Enquirer-Journal by Jason deBruyn. Jason can be reached at (704) 261-2243 or

Monroe Airshow 2009

Warriors & Warbirds Airshow from Steve Sherron on Vimeo.