Al's Photography Blog

Al's Photography Blog
Folly Beach, South Carolina

Monday, May 31, 2010

My World Tuesday - Air Force Academy Graduation & More Thunderbirds

For this Memorial Day, here are some pictures from last week's United States Air Force Academy graduation. My thanks go out to all those who are serving their country, those veterans who have served, and my deepest respect to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. It is because of you that we have our freedoms today. It may seem like a trivial example, but it is because of people like you that we have such a vibrant blogosphere, where we can post without fear of the government knocking at our doors.

The ceremony takes place in the Air Force Academy stadium.
The band strikes up some music.
It starts with the senior cadets (i.e. the ones graduating) marching in straight lines to their seats. This year there were 1,001 graduating cadets.
 Assorted speakers give advice and entertain the crowd. This year's featured speaker was Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was a good speaker.
Finally, the graduates all walk across the stage as their names are announced and get their diplomas. Then it's time for the traditional hat toss.
The hat toss coincides exactly with the first pass of the Thunderbirds over the stadium. The classic photo includes both the hats and the Thunderbirds but you need to be on the stadium floor for that.
Here is one more maneuver from the Thunderbirds display, four pictures from a quick sequence. It's called a hesitation roll, where they start in level flight. They roll 90 degrees (not shown here), hold their positions, 90 degrees more, hold it (upside down), 90 degrees more, hold it, and 90 degrees more back to normal flight. All in formation! For more Thunderbirds pictures look at my post from last Thursday.
For lots of great posts about peoples' worlds, visit the My World Tuesday home page.

16 comments:

  1. those are some incredible shots of the Thunderbirds. but more importantly i want to say thanks to all who've fought for our freedom and congrats to all 1001 cadets for their perseverance and courage. hope all is well.

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  2. Nice to it ...
    Special the Air Force Academy graduation :-)
    Thanks for sharing
    Have a nice memorial day !!

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  3. A wonderful post for Memorial Day.

    Thank you veterans for all you have done, are doing, and have yet to do.

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  4. Marvelous post as always, Al! Love your photos and they're particularly appropriate for the day! Hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day and a great week!

    Sylvia

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  5. Thanks for showing some of Americas new leaders. It looks like quite a few of them are women.

    Amazing pilots those thuderbirds.

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  6. A wonderful day for the graduates. Cool shots of the thunderbirds.

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  7. Beautiful photos, as always.
    What a flight, I should like to be in one of those birds too.

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  8. It's that time of the year again. Lovely coverage. Hoped your Memorial Day weekend was lovely.

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  9. I'm always awed by the precision of the Thunderbirds. Outstanding pictures!

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  10. Reminded me of mine... that was more than one and half decades back.
    Great captures.

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  11. What a wonderful celebration! Great captures. Thank you for sharing.

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  12. Fantastic and lovely shots !!Simply beautiful and great !!Unseen Rajasthan

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  13. I love the shot where they're tossing their hats! Congratulations to the graduating class! :D

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  14. I'm pretty sure I can hear them all the way up here in Canada! They are amazing to watch!

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  15. There's a lot of people that day. Did they coem for their child's graduation or to look at the planes?

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  16. Very impressive, in many ways. What a huge crowd - almost unbelievable.

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