On Wednesday afternoon the state of Massachusetts was roaring with a lot of noise overhead as the 104th Fighter Wing flew over several locations in a show of support during this COVID-19 pandemic.
Pilots with the 104th Fighter Wing began their day flying over Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis around 12:00 p.m. to pay tribute to frontline workers and those battling COVID-19. Their day over Massachusetts ended above Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield nearly 45 minutes later.
Originally slated to start over Gillette Stadium, where the newest class of Mass. State Troopers were being sworn in, the 104th Fighter Wing changed their schedule, with their updated list below:
“It is a privilege for the men and women of the Massachusetts Air National Guard to provide a thank you to medical personnel, first responders, truck drivers, grocery store personnel and the countless Americans coming together to support the COVID-19 response,” said Lt. Col. Jay Talbert a pilot in the Operations Group for the 104th Fighter Wing.
Talbert recommended residents watch the flyovers from their homes while maintaining all social distancing guidelines, unlike what we saw in New York and Washington D.C. He especially discouraged people from traveling to gather at hospitals.
Pamela Hodges, a nurse at Mass General, stepped outside to see the flyover on Wednesday.
“Often times you can feel very much alone in this new world," she told Boston 25 News. "Even in the medical and in the community people are feeling alone. And this really does bring a sense of community and America together”.
Hodges said seeing those planes right outside her work door made the tribute even more special.
“At this particular time, it is much more meaningful than at the typical air shows," Hodges said. “It is a great tribute to all of us who have worked on the front lines.”
This flyover was accomplished as part of regular and mandatory proficiency training required to keep aircrews current and qualified and zero additional cost to taxpayers.
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