The U.S. Navy Blue Angels were the stars of the 11th annual Memorial Day Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island, keeping your heart pounding through the 20 to 30 minutes as they go through their maneuvers - whizzing by at more than 300 mph in their F18 Hornets with only 18 inches separation between the planes during their famous "Diamond 360" maneuver, and in other maneuvers, hurtling at each other at 400 mph.
The Blue Angels returned to high flying exhibitions after suspending air shows in 2013 because of federal budget sequestration. Though the sequestration remains in effect, the Angels have booked 65 shows in 34 U.S. locations this season. "Our performances provide a unique opportunity to inspire millions to connect with and support our service members, and we are looking forward to an exciting 2014 season," Blue Angels' commanding officer and flight leader Commander Thomas Frosch stated.
Since 1946, when the Blue Angels were formed, the mission of the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron has been "to showcase the pride and professionalism of the United States Navy and Marine Corps by inspiring a culture of excellence and service to country through flight demonstrations and community outreach."
The Blue Angels are probably the Navy's best recruiting tool because as you watch them, you initially want to do that too, but then, as you watch them, you think that what they do is insane.
As for where the "Blue Angels" name comes from - apparently, the name was picked by the original team when they were planning a show in New York in 1946. "One of them came across the name of the city's famous Blue Angel nightclub in the New Yorker Magazine."
Each year, some 11 million people get to witness this spectacular demonstration. Some 270,000 - 70,000 on Saturday, and about 200,000 on Sunday - came out for the 11th annual Memorial Day Air Show at Jones Beach.
Karen Rubin, Long Island Eclectic Travel Examiner
© 2014 Travel Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. Visit www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin, www.examiner.com/eclectic-traveler-in-long-island/karen-rubin, www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin and travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate. Blogging at goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com. Send comments or questions to FamTravLtr@aol.com. Tweet @TravelFeatures. 'Like' us at facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures.