The military’s elite flying squadrons — the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds — flew over Washington, D.C., on Saturday, May 2, to thank health care workers and first responders for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.
A total of 12 fighter jets, six of the Air Force’s F-16 C/D Fighting Falcons and six F-18 C/D Hornets, appeared over the Capitol building just before noon. The coordinated flyover lasted about 20 minutes.
“Thank you to all of those in essential industries keeping our nation moving forward. We will get through this. We are all in this together,” said Cmdr. Brian Kesselring, commanding officer and flight leader of the Blue Angels.
But the troubling scene at ground level might be considered an affront to those same health professionals. Despite Mayor Muriel Bowser’s stay-at-home order, thousands packed the National Mall, many of them clearly ignoring social distancing guidelines. Only a minority appeared to be wearing face masks. Coronavirus deaths in D.C., Maryland and Virginia exceeded 2,000 on Friday as the District recorded its largest number of daily infections.
View Jeff Malet’s photos of the flyover above the National Mall by clicking on the photo icons below.