On Tuesday, in honor of those working on the frontlines amidst the coronavirus crisis, the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels performed a stunning flyover display in New York City and New Jersey. The only issue with the event is that many individuals gathered along both sides of the Hudson River in order to watch the flyover, despite the fact that social distancing measures are encouraged during this health pandemic. As the Daily Mail noted, photos from the event even showcase just how close many got as they watched pilots from the U.S. Navy and the Air Force honor frontline workers.
Prior to the event, the Blue Angels actually issued a warning on their Twitter account in which they urged residents to "refrain from traveling to see the flyover." They also stated, "Residents should observe the flyover from the safety of their home-quarantine. Social distancing should be practiced at all times. Stay home and stay safe!" The Centers for Disease Control has shared guidelines entailing that Americans should not gather in large groups during this time and also urged them to keep a safe physical distance from others. Despite the Blue Angels' message, photos show that crowds in New York and New Jersey did gather in droves, and in close quarters, to view the display.
According to the Daily Mail, the Air Force and the Navy expressed that they were partnering with local governments and media outlets in order to "help ensure spectators follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines." The Thunderbirds previously shared that this display would be "a show of national solidarity" and "collaborative salute from the Navy and Air Force to recognize healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential personnel while standing in solidarity with all Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic." The Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels are reportedly set to travel throughout America following their recent flyover in New York and New Jersey. Over the next two weeks, the groups will perform flyovers in various cities across the country.
"We're excited to fly over cities across America as our way of saying thanks to the healthcare workers, first responders, and all the people who selflessly run into the breach working to keep America strong," Gen. Dave Goldfein, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Adm. Michael Gilday, Chief of Naval Operations, said. "This is also our way of showing that we are all in this together and that America's spirit will prevail."