SEATTLE, Wa (WKRG) — An opinion piece in the Seattle Times calls for an end to The Blue Angels. The headlines reads “Time to retire the Blue Angels.”
The article focuses on the annual event in the Pacific Northwest called “Seafair.”
The article, written by Patrick Pilcher , calls the shows by the Blue Angels “a display of military muscle-flexing that seems a bit outdated.” The Blues have performed at Seafair in the Seattle area for decades. Their performances wow the crowds in the Pacific Northwest as they do all over the country.
Pilcher says, “we should not use our armed forces as a traveling road show to entertain the masses or a high-tech recruiting measure. We need a strong military as a peacekeeping force. Military hardware is expensive to produce and maintain. The aircraft used by the Blue Angels are designed for combat — not barnstorming circus props.”
The opinion isn’t very popular on the Times Facebook page, one reader commenting, ” Patrick you can’t be serious with this article if you don’t understand the reason for the Blue Angels I don’t think anyone could explain it to you.” Another writes, “The Blue Angels are an elite unit of some of the greatest aerobatic pilots on the planet. It’s not propaganda, it’s a demonstration of the incredible feats of human ability possible when coupled with the most scientifically advanced flight technology available in human history. Whatever one’s politics, we should ALL be able to appreciate a group like The Blue Angels. Show me a group of civilian pilots that can do what these guys do. You can’t, because it doesn’t exist.”
The Blue Angles, beloved by many across the country and certainly at their home base on the Gulf in Pensacola.
But the author of the opinion piece says they should be instead seen as a reminder of horror from the sky:
A final objection to the Blue Angels is that of the jets conjuring up horrifying images among many recent immigrants from war-torn countries. When the fighters roar in at low altitude, as they often do at Seafair, it can be a reminder of the terror of death raining from the sky in the form of cluster bombs or other weapons. The images remain fused into the memories of people who suffered so much during war. We should be more sensitive toward the feelings of these people.
The Blue Angels have flown over Seafair for many years. They should be retired with dignity and remembered in our history for the role they played. We do not need the Navy to provide thrills during Seafair. There are many other excellent events that more than make up for the loss of this blatant military ad campaign.