• Wright Brothers National Memorial

    Wright Brothers

    National Memorial North Carolina

Wright Brothers First Flight Achievement Celebrated on December 17

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Date: December 8, 2011
Contact: Outer Banks Group, 252-473-2111

On Saturday, December 17, 2011 the First Flight Society and the National Park Service will continue the tradition of honoring the accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright at the 108th anniversary celebration of the first heavier-than-air powered flight.The theme of this year's celebration is 100 years of Naval Aviation.The event will take place at Wright Brothers National Memorial; park entrance fees will be waived for the day.

The observance will launch at 8:30 a.m. with a patriotic musical prelude by the Northeastern High School Band from Elizabeth City, NC.The formal program begins at 9 a.m. in the First Flight Pavilion, with opening marks from the President of the First Flight Society Geneva Perry, followed by the Presentation of Color by the U.S. Coast Guard Cape Hatteras Group.Nags Head Elementary School students participating in the Wright Flight academic achievement program will lead the Pledge of Allegiance.Zene Fearing, 1st Vice President of the First Flight Society, will introduce this year's guest speaker, Vice Admiral William E. Gortney, U.S. Navy, Director of the Joint Staff, The Pentagon.Peter Jakab, Associate Director, Division of Aeronautics, Smithsonian Institute will pay tribute to David Sinton Ingalls this year's inductee into the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine.David Ingalls was the first and only Navy flyer in World War I.Flying Sopwith Camel planes, Ingalls scored six air victories to become the Navy's first ace.

A Naval Aviation Flyover will pay tribute to the Wright brothers and the Centennial of Naval Aviation starting at 10:35 a.m. - the documented time of the Wrights' first flight.

At 11:00 a.m. there will be a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the Wright Brothers and the witnesses of the first flight at the location where the flight occurred in 1903.This program segment will start at the Wright Brothers Visitor Center.

At 11:15 a.m. a General Aviation Flyover will pay tribute to the Wright brothers and their achievements.

The park's museum exhibits and activities throughout the day will provide an atmosphere of enjoyable learning about one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century.The visitor center will open at 8 a.m.Flight Room Talk programs will take place at the visitor center at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.Children are invited to participate in the park's Junior Ranger program.

For more information, call the National Park Service at (252) 441-7430.

Did You Know?

Six Blue Angles jets flying over the monument on top of Kill Devil Hill.

Although the town of Kitty Hawk is always associated with the exploits of the Wright brothers, most of their flying experiments took place about 4 miles to the south on the sands of Kill Devil Hills. The town of Kill Devil Hills, where the memorial is located, was incorporated in 1953.