Mythical Hero Mixes With The Real Thing
Hollywood went to Dayton (OH)
Saturday night, as actor Harrison Ford addressed a black-tie dinner
for inductees into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. The real
question at the sold-out event was, who asked for whose
Ford, star of the "Indiana Jones" series of movies, "Air Force
One" and "Witness," is himself a pilot. Imagine the thrill, then,
of sharing the stage with legends like Neil Armstrong, Scott
Crossfield and John Glenn.
In Good Company
“Can you imagine how different our lives would be if no
one had dreamt of soaring with the birds?” Harrison asked
from the podium, as quoted by the Dayton Daily News.
“As we celebrate
events and anniversaries and machinery, it’s good we pause
and remember that none of this would have been possible without
very special people.” Indeed, the weekend events at the NAHF
were dedicated to people, not machines. It takes no nerve at all
for a machine to break the Mach 2 barrier. It took a pilot like
Crossfield. It was a piece of cake for the Mercury capsule to orbit
the Earth. But the man in that capsule, John Glenn, had to have the
“It’s good to remember that it’s not the
canvas or the wire or the wood or metal or rivets that make an
airplane fly,” Ford said after lengthy applause for the
living aviation pioneers in attendance. “It is and always was
the inventive genius of the men and women we celebrate tonight.
Through their vision, courage, innovation and sometimes just plain
stubbornness, these dreamers and achievers have changed our
Among nearly two dozen NAHF inductees at Saturday's hoo-ha were
retired Sen. John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, James A.
Lovell Jr. and Walter M. Schirra Jr., all former astronauts.
“All of the names here tonight, it’s history
unfolding before our eyes,” said Steven Harper, chairman of
the aviation technology department at Sinclair Community
That Ford Guy's All Right
“It’s one of the great aviation events in the
country,” said Wayne Johnson of Beaver Bay (MN) about the
dinner bash. Johnson, who flew with the Flying Tigers in China
during World War II, liked the idea of Harrison Ford as emcee.
“To have a guy like that as master of ceremonies is most
impressive,” Johnson said. “Particularly because
he’s an aviation enthusiast.”
The ceremony included a toast to Wilbur and Orville Wright by
two members of the Wright family, Amanda Wright Lane and Stephen
Wright. Stephen Wright got a bit teary-eyed while paying tribute to
Orville. “I’m glad you don’t have to suffer
through this,” Stephen told his late ancestor, who he said
hated such events.