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May 26, 2020

Yesterday in the local Patch, I read that 18 World War II-era planes would take part in a Memorial Day aerial tribute dubbed “Operation SoCal Strong” to thank military veterans and frontline health care workers. Starting at Noon, they would fly over hospitals and cemeteries in Riverside County, Orange County and Los Angeles County. City of Hope in Duarte was listed as one of the “stops.” It’s not far from us and I hoped we would be lucky enough to see the planes fly along the foothills. Then, while inside my garage, my ears picked up the sound of more than one plane getting louder and louder. I jumped over boxes to run to the front yard. There they were -- five low-flying planes in perfect formation so close together. And to me, so symbolic:

Work together or we will fail.

Every New Year’s Day, we see the exciting performance of stealth bombers fly over for the Pasadena Rose Parade. We stand at the front porch and watch the jets zoom by. But this was different. I had a lump in my throat.

I began to pull my phone out of my fanny pack to capture a photo, but it was stuck in the tight pocket. Oh no, please don’t let this be the moment that I can’t get a shot before they’re gone. Then, it “popped” out, and I fumbled to open the camera app and zoom in to the planes that were getting smaller and smaller. Yes!

Seconds later, Louie walked out the back door. “I’m so glad you were able to see them in time!”

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