The club would like to take this opportunity to thank all veterans both locally and around the world. We understand that freedom is never free and salute you for your dedicated service to our country. This writer, being a USAF veteran, provides the following sonnet written by John Gillespie Magee, an American pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. It has become the mantra of many airmen especially those who keep the skies clear over our brothers and sisters below.

“High Flight” – “Oh, I have slipped the surely bonds of earth, and danced the skies on laughter silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split-clouds – and done a hundred things you have not dreamed of – wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence. Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air. Up, up the long delirious burning blue I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace, where never lark, or even eagle flew; and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod the untrespassed sanctity of space, put out my hand and touched the face of God.”

Pilot Flight Officer Magee died on December 11, 1941 when his Spitfire collided with another plane over England and Magee, only 19 years of age, crashed to his death.