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‘Operation Thank You, the Relay in the Sky’ honors healthcare professionals and first responders

Spirit of Liberty Chairman Richard Rovsek (at left)
Spirit of Liberty Chairman Richard Rovsek (at left)
(Vincent Andrunas)

The Spirit of Liberty Foundation and San Diego Air & Space Museum have launched America’s “Operation Thank You, the Relay in the Sky” - a nation-wide tribute to healthcare professionals and first responders that will span the country, and America’s first-ever relay of its kind. The kick-off started in San Diego International Airport, at the Signature FBO, to fly to 98 cities across all 50 states and culminate in Washington D.C. on Oct. 30.

The launch and hometown ceremonies have included local dignitaries and honorees, and the specially-created Spirit of Liberty Torch and Love Healthcare Heroes Flag. The torch and flag will be on board all flights throughout the Relay and local ceremonies feature dignitaries and honorees including doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians and other healthcare workers.

“COVID-19 is everyone’s number one concern as it can affect anyone’s health, income, and education. Healthcare workers are being taxed at a new level,” said Spirit of Liberty Chairman Richard Rovsek. “Operation Thank You, the Relay in the Sky is more than just a representation of America’s gratitude. It will honor healthcare workers and first responders across the country and lift the spirits of Americans.”

Prime transport aircraft participating in the Relay are those such as Joe Graham’s twin engine turbo Seneca six passenger airplane; the California Aeronautical University (CAU), an AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) supported world class aeronautical university; and the combined membership of nearly 700,000 pilots from the highest levels of America’s aircraft industry including the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, National Business Aviation Association, Commemorative Air Force, Experimental Aircraft Association, National Air Transportation Association and General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

Another crucial element to the operation is the deep commitment of the American Hospital Association with 5,000-plus member hospitals. “This is an effort that is so greatly needed,” says AHA Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer M. Michelle Hood. — News release


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