By Jill Fox
As many as 11 million spectators view the Blue Angels during air shows each year. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the flight demonstrators to cancel many performances.
On April 24, America Strong, a collaboration between the Navy and Air Force, announced the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds would fly over areas of the country hardest hit by the coronavirus, replacing their springtime schedule with a thank-you tour.
In a show of national solidarity, the Blue Angels have been conducting a series of flyovers to recognize healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Starting in New York City, the Blue Angels posted route maps and flight times on Twitter just before each flyover, which will continue to occur every one-to-two days through mid-May.
The teams have already flown through the skies of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Atlanta, Dallas, New Orleans, and Houston.
On Friday, they will appear in the skies above Jacksonville and South Florida.
Mayor Christine Hunschofsky said, “It’s such a nice gesture to honor our healthcare workers, first responders, and emergency personnel, and many in our community are excited to see them fly over the western part of our city.”
The Blue Angels will begin their route on Friday, May 8, at 1 p.m., and should be located over Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School around 1:15 p.m.
They advised residents to observe the flyover from the safety of their homes. They also said people should refrain from traveling to see the flyover and practice social distancing at all times. Check the Blue Angels twitter page on May 8 for updates on their whereabouts.
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- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked on the public relations side as well as the television side of marketing for NBC Universal. A true Floridian, Fox grew up in Ormond Beach and now resides in Parkland with her husband, Brian and their two children, Madden, 11 and Randi, 7.
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