On a crisp blue day with the sun shining brightly, all eyes were to the north in the Texas Medical Center as small specs appeared on the horizon. But oh, what a powerful message they were delivering.
It only lasted about a minute on Wednesday, May 6, but the smiles, cheers, a few tears, pride and boost to an industry hit hard by COVID-19, will never be forgotten. As we watched people fill the streets and rooftops, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels saluted the health care heroes on the front lines of the pandemic.
The Houston flyover was the second of three regional salutes that the flight demonstration squadron has performed to honor COVID-19 first responders.
On the roof of the UT Professional Building on Fannin Street and cites across Greater Houston, health care teams gathered to get a close-up view of the flyover.
“I think it is super. It’s amazing that the Armed Forces took the time to do this. It’s wonderful,” said Michael Chang, MD, infectious disease specialist with UT Physicians and assistant professor of pediatrics at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth.
With a banner of thanks in-hand, Denise Laird was thrilled to witness the celebration with colleagues.
“I love the Blue Angels,” said Laird, clinic coordinator with EP Heart at UT Physicians. “America really needs this. It is especially important to me that the military took time to do this. My nephew is currently serving and it just means a lot to me.”
Mary Senkel, nurse practitioner with UT Physicians, agrees. “I think it is really awesome. I am proud to watch this activity and it is exciting to watch.”
For Michelle Wong, MD, obstetrician and gynecologist with UT Physicians, the performance was especially meaningful. Wong trained at George Washington University School of Medicine on a U.S. Navy scholarship. Serving her country in the Navy and training in women’s health at Bethesda Naval Hospital, gave her the experience she uses today.
“Watching the Blue Angels reminded me of how proud I am to have been able to serve this country in the Navy,” said Wong, who was seeing patients in Sugar Land during the performance and is an assistant professor at McGovern Medical School. “I feel honored that I can continue to help people through the practice of medicine.”
View inspiring images that captured the day from staff across the Houston area.