A new tribute to fallen service members and first responders will debut June 11 at this year’s Shop ‘n Save Westmoreland airshow in a “Flight of the Flags” ceremony.
Families of those who died who received tri-fold flags in honor of their loved ones will have the opportunity to fly those flags in a TBM Avenger, a World War II torpedo bomber, during the ceremony at 11 a.m. June 11, the first day of the show.
Charlie Cartledge of the Lake Erie Warbirds organization and pilot of the TBM Avenger said the ceremonial flyover was a hit at other regional air shows he has performed at in recent years.
“I am truly honored to do this. And I can tell you the ceremony was a real hit at other shows we’ve honored in the last couple of years,” Cartledge said.
The event is organized by air show volunteers and local pilots John Miller and Valetta Mowry.
“We did it at the Indiana County Air Show last year, and it was a very moving tribute,” Miller said. “Even though it was a smaller site, we still had 28 flags. We anticipate much more here.
Those wishing to participate should prepare in advance by calling 724-237-0364.
Flags must be delivered to the Flight of the Flags booth prior to takeoff at 11 a.m. People bringing flags will need to have general admission tickets to enter.
Flags will be returned to families after the flight.
“The waving of the flags is a fitting and appropriate tribute to all who have served and died in the service of our nation,” said Gabe Monzo, executive director of the Westmoreland County Airport Authority.
General admission tickets for the air show, scheduled for June 11-12, are on sale at a discount at all Shop ‘n Save locations. VIP tickets can be purchased online at westmoreland-county-airshow.square.