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C130 Dedication Ceremony

Image: C-130 with dedication plaqueLt Gen Kenneth A. Minihan, USAF, Director, NSA/Chief, CSS, welcomed a crowd of approximately 2,000 people on the morning of 2 September 1997 to the dedication ceremony of the new National Vigilance Park and Aerial Reconnaissance Memorial. The ceremony took place against a colorful backdrop of the memorial C-130 aircraft with the colors and a troop formation of the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force beneath the wings of the aircraft. The event was highlighted by patriotic music from the U.S. Air Force Ceremonial Band, a dirge by a bagpiper, and "Taps" performed by an Air Force bugler.

During his dedication address, General Minihan described the occasion as "a major step to publicly recognize and remember the sacrifices and dedication of aerial reconnaissance servicemen and women from all branches of the armed forces." Senator Sarbanes and General Ralph A. Eberhart, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff, made brief remarks focusing on the courage and sacrifice of servicemen lost on air reconnaissance missions.

A special moment during the ceremony was when family members of the C-130 crew downed by the MiG-17 in 1958 were presented with posthumous air medals and commemorative flags in a tribute to their loved ones.

As a conclusion to the ceremony, the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard gave a 21-gun salute and the Maryland Air National Guard performed a missing man formation flyover in three C-130 aircraft.

Channel 11 News provided television coverage of the event. The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Annapolis Capital and Associated Press were among the newspapers that reported on the dedication.


Date Posted: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Modified: Jan 15, 2009 | Last Reviewed: Jan 15, 2009