Above Photo: The Navy Blue Angels perform high speed flight maneuvers for the crowd at the Miramar Air Show. — Nelvin C. Cepeda
There is a debate playing out in the pages of the Union-Tribune Thursday morning over the MCAS Miramar Air Show which will roar into and over San Diego skies next month.
A local veterans group says the annual aviation extravaganza glorifies war and the machinery used to kill, maim and destroy, and it is calling for the show to end. Marine Corps officials, however, argue the three-day event showcases what it takes to lead the nation and the world.
San Diego Veterans for Peace says it has embarked on a five-year plan to shut down the show and it is asking the public to stay home.
The organization wants people to reject what they call the effort to glamorize militarism and the opportunity for the military industrial complex to promote its products used in death and destruction.
“The Miramar Air Show — just don’t go,” wrote the group’s past president.
“Given our quagmire in the Middle East it’s high time that we gave some thought to how our politicians and military contractors promote war as the answer to our problems,” argued Dave Patterson.
Patterson also said the show puts highly-trained military personnel at risk in the entertainment effort and he cited the death of a Navy Blue Angels pilot who was killed June 2 when his jet went down during practice for an air show in Tennessee.
But in an opposing piece, Marine Corps First Lieutenant Gabriel Adibe counters that the event showcases the resources it takes “to lead not only the nation but the world with respect to spreading goodwill and saving lives.”
Adibe, who is deputy director of public affairs for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, said the show also allows the military to show its appreciation for the public, strengthen its bonds with the community and showcase the commitment that comes from those who serve.
And beyond that, he said, it is patriotic.
“The air show is a sight to behold and an experience that makes hearts swell with pride for our nation and those that protect it every single day,” Adibe wrote.
The show this year, which draws as many as 500,000 people, is scheduled for Sept. 23 – 25.
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