Freedom’s Engines

On May 26, I was driving from Colorado Springs back to Denver and noticed, as I neared the Air Force Academy, fighter jets flying in formation over my car.  After contemplating the pros and cons of trying to photograph them through the sunroof as I drove up I-25, I pulled into a restaurant parking lot to take photos and found that many other people had done the same.

Image: people congregate on a concrete patio area facing the mountains while two young girls draw in chalk on the concrete and a young boy strides toward them.

Turns out the Thunderbirds were practicing for an airshow. I had my camera and kit lens and managed to get a couple of OK shots. Memo to self:  if you’re going to drive around Colorado, bring the good lenses.

Image: six fighter jets flying in tight formation with contrails. Image: 6 fighter jets flying in close formation. Image: 4 fighter jets flying in formation seen from below with clouds as the background.

Image: zoomed in photo of underside of fighter jet.

It was breathtaking!  Back when I was a biglaw associate, our firm represented GE in some litigation or another, and a partner I worked with had a big poster of fighter jets on her wall, captioned “Freedom’s Engines.”  My first reaction was that that was sort of cloying — the aerospace engineering equivalent of a big-eye puppy photo — but when I thought more about it I thought, as I did last week watching these amazing pilots of these amazing machines do mind-blowing, stomach-churning maneuvers, I’m really glad these folks are on our side, protecting us.

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