Air show brought out the best in everyone

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To the editor:

For someone like me, the airplanes are just part of the story at the air show in A.C. My daughter and I were local tourists a few years back. I was awed by the peaceful crowds and the orderly fashion of it all back then. Usually, I just got to hear the noise of the jets or see a brief moment of the planes from an office window in Atlantic City. I had never seen the crowds. 


This year was extra special. I got to work the Thunderbird souvenir table, volunteering with a friend and the Knights of Columbus of St. Joseph's Church in Somers Point. 

I met many people from the tri-state area who came with their families to enjoy the beach and the show. Everyone who came to the table was kind, considerate and joyful. I met a man and his son from Jamaica and a family from Canada. (The Canadians did not plan their trip around the air show. It was an added bonus for them.) I spoke with people from as far away as Pakistan who now make Atlantic City their home. I saw acquaintances from Somers Point too.

The young children were thoughtful about their purchases. I was impressed by the number of children who took cost and sharing into consideration when making their decisions. The Thunderbird airplanes were a big seller. It didn't take long to figure out the favorite toy of the 3-5 age range, which were little propeller airplanes that fit just right into a young hand!

One item that was a conversation starter was the 9-11 flag which had the names of all the victims in the stripes. Two men who came to the table with their families shared with me that they were at Ground Zero on that fateful day. One man was an electrician working in front of the Towers. He escaped, but his truck was crushed. 

Our location was directly across from the WPVI site, so some of the workers enjoyed participating in and watching the news broadcasts. Terry Ruggles of CBS interviewed one of my customers and had me stage putting his toy in the bag. One of the Knights is actually in the Terry Ruggles segment!

I know what a great group of men the Knights of Columbus are. Their efforts today were part of a double-header, as the souvenir table was open on the preview day also. I also witnessed a special kindness given to one of the less fortunate of A.C. The Knight may not have thought anything of his actions, but it was another example of the many blessings this day offered.

I know a few eyes welled up with tears as the Thunderbirds soared overhead with their precise timing. Kudos to the men and women who performed their duties that day.

Congratulations for another job well done, A.C. I am most appreciative of being able to participate. 

P.S. A trip to the Irish Pub on St. James Place and a stop just to admire Lucy the Elephant in Margate topped off a fun-filled day.

Marian R. Carlino

Somers Point

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