US Airways pilot gets hero’’s welcome in DanvilleJanuary 25th, 2009 - 5:53 pm ICT by ANI
Danville (California)/New York, Jan.25 (ANI): Captain Chesley Sullenberger III, the valiant pilot who saved the lives of all 155 passengers and crew when he crash-landed a US Airways flight in New York’’s Hudson River, was given a heroes welcome in hometown Danville on Saturday.
A crowd of about 2,000 people cheered the veteran pilot who was accompanied by his wife Lorrie.
Sullenberger - affectionately known as Sully - stepped onto a makeshift stage in the packed town green, and was quoted by the New York Daily News as saying: “Lorrie and I are grateful for your incredible outpouring of support. It’’s great to be at home in Danville with our neighbors and our friends.”
Sullenberger, 58, has been barred from speaking in-depth about his miracle Hudson River landing on January 15.
Wearing a black suit and tie, the steady pilot stood on a podium decorated with American flags and beneath a huge blue banner emblazoned with the message: “Danville welcomes our hometown hero Chesley B. ”Sully” Sullenberger III.”
“Circumstance determined that it was this experienced crew that was scheduled to fly that particular flight on that particular day,” he said.
Sullenberger blew a kiss to his two daughters, who sat in the front row facing the stage, and his wife wiped away tears and continuously reached for her husband’’s hand during the ceremony.
He was greeted by a marching band, named an honorary police officer by the Danville police chief and handed badge Number 1.
He was also was given a medal of valor and handed the key to the city by Mayor Newell Arnerich. A fly-past was also organized. (ANI)
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