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Mark Archibald, Daily Sun columnist

Some believe that if God had wanted humans to fly, he’d have given us wings. This Independence Day, Commemorative Air Force pilots right here in Corsicana, and around the world will turn the engines of magnificent machines and take part in a program dubbed “United We Fly.”

Five planes will participate in the Navarro County flyover, beginning at approximately 10 a.m. the morning make the rounds before ending back at the airport, an hour and a half later. The CAF, is affectionately known as the “world’s largest flying museum.” Its mission is to educate, inspire and honor. Without question planes have thrilled, and historically provided the safest mode of transportation, and been called upon to be an instrument of war and peace, delivering aid and freedom to people yearning for it across the globe.

Even before the Wright Brother’s first flight in 1903, the idea of being unfettered, by physical laws captured our collective imagination. In less than a century, Americans harnessed that power and won the space race to the moon. The June 3 launch of SpaceX diverted national attention away from a pandemic which continues to grip much of the Earth, and succeeded in lifting our spirits and boosted our national pride. The booster’s separation marked America’s return to space from a domestic launching pad for the first time in nearly a decade.

I will never make it to space but thanks to members of Corsicana’s Commemorative Air Force’s Coyote Squadron, I get to experience thrills of older aircraft and the camaraderie with those who love them. Even for someone who normally doesn’t like to rise with the sun that excitement is worth sacrificing some sleep. I encourage anyone who is interested to contact a coyote member and get an application on the double.

The monthly meetings of the coyote squadron are held the second Saturday of every month, and any time spent at C. David Campbell Field is special. History comes alive there, in those hangers, skies and area fields men were trained to fight in World War II. Remembered around town, PT 19’s were thick in area skies. Just last month a restored engine was placed back in an aircraft named the “Pride of Corsicana,” where she belonged. Watching that engine turn over after so many people had worked and sacrificed time, energy and money was emotional.

First as an attendee of the CAF’s Best little Airsho in Texas, then as a member of Corsicana’s CAF coyote squadron, my appreciation grows as I hear the stories and learn the history of our group and units like it.

My advice is to look up to the sky this Saturday, come to a meeting of the coyotes or join us for the Airsho scheduled for November 7. Rides in some aircraft will be available. I must warm you, the roar off the engines and the excitement on the flight line is addicting. I can attest the feeling is contagious, causing you to howl like a coyote.

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