The Sky and the Angel
Michael Ubaldi, May 4, 2007.
"Oh, very nice. You know," said the UPS deliveryman, moments ago, pointing at the poster for the aviation centennial Cleveland National Air Show that is framed on the south office wall, "we just lost one of them, one of the Blue Angels." A week, two weeks ago? He had glanced at an article about the fatal crash and couldn't remember the date, or the precise circumstances — one jet's wing clipping another, or a bird caught by the intake, or an unfortunate commission of error in the cockpit? What was gleaned in the quick reading was salient. The pilot was Lieutenant Commander Kevin Davis, Navy, sophomore team member and rookie performer. Cause of crash unknown, extent of loss surmised but unmeasurable.
That risk goes with the job, I said, makes it no less of a bereavement. The man in brown approved as he turned to leave. "That's what makes it great to be an American." What regret to need to study the man's timbre and expression, to rule the comment as eloquent or ironic — I looked and, oh, the driver meant it — but how inspiriting to have heard what I did, even in this latter age.
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