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Wright-Patt to celebrate Wright Brothers in annual ceremony

  • Published
  • By Richy Rosado
  • 88th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will honor the Wright brothers’ accomplishments Dec. 16 at 10 a.m., commemorating the 119th anniversary of powered flight with the annual First Flight ceremony.

“Taking time to honor the anniversary of the Wright brothers’ achievement at Kitty Hawk (North Carolina) is so important because it reminds us of the monumental impact that powered flight has had on the course of modern history,” said Steve Byington, the 88th Civil Engineer Group’s cultural resources manager and a ceremony organizer. “Human flight was so significant and revolutionary a breakthrough that its influence went far beyond the aeronautical community and became responsible for reshaping the very world itself.”

The 88th Air Base Wing, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and National Aviation Heritage Area will host the event at the Wright Brothers Memorial. The ceremony is open to the public.

Opening remarks will be given by Col. Christopher Meeker, 88th Air base Wing and installation commander.

Brig. Gen. Jason Lindsey, program executive officer for the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center’s Presidential and Executive Airlift, will be guest speak at the event. He is responsible for planning and executing all life-cycle activities related to Air Force One and other aircraft.

Alongside Meeker, Wright family members will symbolize their connection to the event with a wreath laying. 

Although the ceremony is traditionally held Dec. 17 – actual date of the historic flight in 1903 – this year’s commemoration will be conducted a day earlier due to scheduling issues. As part of the observance, a flyover will take place after the wreath laying.

“The Wright brothers didn’t just invent the first successful flying machine, but equally incredibly, created the fundamental principles of three-axis control systems that still remain the standard for virtually every fixed-wing aircraft ever produced,” Byington said.

Organizers say the ceremony retells the Wright brothers’ story and reminds the Wright-Patterson AFB and local community of its steep history in aviation achievements that allow the Air Force to fly, fight and win. 

“Within the Air Force, Dayton has always been synonymous with aeronautical research and development – from the Wright brothers’ early flights at Huffman Prairie to the cutting-edge work currently being done every day at Wright-Patterson AFB,” Byington said.