MEMOIRS OF A SECOND CLASS HERO
In life there are moments we will all remember exactly where we were and what we were doing. For me some of those moments were: the first time in our Nation's History Barrack Obama, an African American, won the Presidency; the tragic news of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster; when my Navy Recruiter called me to tell me I was accepted into the Navy's Flight Program. And now, added to those moments, will be February 3rd, 2016, at the showing of "The Luft Gangster".
As I stood in the back of the room along with the other American Airline pilots, some of us in our Military Uniform, it slowly and then completely dawned on me. Every Pilot standing here is literally standing on the shoulders of the men and the individual this documentary is about. I wish I could begin to describe the complexity of emotions I felt, Gratitude, Pride, Sorrow, but the one that stayed with me was an overwhelming sense of Respect.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who was involved in bringing this amazing documentary to American Airlines C.R. Smith Museum. Your decision to have the first viewing of this documentary will never be forgotten by me and the other American Pilots that were there. And I know many others in the audience. I personally want to thank LaTonya and her team, Team 5, for giving me the opportunity to be part of this historic moment . You guys did an amazing job.
I must confess having been a pilot at American for 16 years, I was getting concerned that with all the focus on the merger synergy that diversity would become secondary. After seeing the efforts that went into putting this together, I am happy to see diversity is still a focus of the New American Airlines.
There is an old African Proverb that states; " Its take a village to raise a child".
Like in the proverb its meaning transcends the family dynamic. I know it took great leadership and numerous individuals to make what accrued Wednesday night such a success. Its was the American Airlines Village. And to all of you, again I want to say my deepest and sincerest, Thank You.
In closing, there is some thing we say in the Navy when someone does a great job. We say "Bravo Zulu". So to you LaTonya & Team 5 and to all of you who had a part in this, I say " Bravo Zulu". I look forward to many more events like this in the future as we forge ahead to make American Airline reflect the wonderful diversity we find in our great Nation.
Captain Paul M. Pierre