D.C. opens restricted airspace over national monuments for WWII flyover

BY and  

P51-Mustangs take part in the "Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Capitol Flyover" above the National Mall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day in Washington, D.C. May 8, 2015. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

P51-Mustangs take part in the “Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Capitol Flyover” above the National Mall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day in Washington, D.C. May 8, 2015. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

More than 50 World War II aircraft flew over the nation’s capital Friday to commemorate the Allies’ defeat of Nazi Germany 70 years ago.

Arsenal of Democracy: WWII Victory Capitol Flyover, an event celebrating Victory in Europe Day, provided a rare sight for observers on the National Mall. As USA Today explains:

“It’s unique enough that those planes are fighters and bombers from WWII, but they are also flying a path that’s been severely restricted since the terrorist hijackings Sept. 11, 2001.”

Organizers of the event said it took a year to coordinate a flight path that took the vintage planes nearby national monuments, including the Lincoln Memorial, at a low 1,000-foot altitude. Reagan National Airport also closed for an hour for the flyover.

The planes flew in formations reminiscent of the war’s decisive battles of World War II that ended when Germany surrendered in May 1945. The planes from the flyover will be temporarily displayed at the National Air and Space Museum on Saturday.

World War II era planes fly over the National Mall during a ceremony  to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day in Washington on May 8, 2015. Photo by Jim Bourg/Reuters

World War II era planes fly over the National Mall during a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day in Washington on May 8, 2015. Photo by Jim Bourg/Reuters


Hundreds of people, including many WWII veterans, gathered at the National Mall to witness the flyover on Friday. In memory of 400,000 Americans and 60 million people killed worldwide during the war, dozens of veterans laid wreaths at the National World War II Memorial. President Obama also honored the veterans in his weekly address, calling them the “generation that literally saved the world — that ended the war and laid a foundation for peace.”
A crowd watches a "Capitol Flyover” over the National Mall at the World War II memorial to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, in Washington May 8, 2015. Photo by Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters

A crowd watches a “Capitol Flyover” over the National Mall at the World War II memorial to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, in Washington May 8, 2015. Photo by Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters


Eli Linden, a World War II veteran and POW, interacts with a military photographer during a "Capitol Flyover” over the National Mall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, in Washington, D.C. May 8, 2015. Photo by Sait Surkan Gurbuz/Reuters

Eli Linden, a World War II veteran and POW, interacts with a military photographer during a “Capitol Flyover” over the National Mall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, in Washington, D.C. May 8, 2015. Photo by Sait Surkan Gurbuz/Reuters


A World War II veteran salutes during a "Capitol Flyover” over the National Mall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, in Washington May 8, 2015.  Photo by Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters

A World War II veteran salutes during a “Capitol Flyover” over the National Mall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, in Washington May 8, 2015. Photo by Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters


A veteran interacts with an usher dressed in World War II era uniform during a "Capitol Flyover” over the National Mall  to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, in Washington May 8, 2015. Photo by Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters

A veteran interacts with an usher dressed in World War II era uniform during a “Capitol Flyover” over the National Mall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, in Washington May 8, 2015. Photo by Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters


A World War II veteran takes a picture with a cell phone during a "Capitol Flyover” over the National Mall  to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, in Washington May 8, 2015. Photo by Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters

A World War II veteran takes a picture with a cell phone during a “Capitol Flyover” over the National Mall to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day, in Washington May 8, 2015. Photo by Sait Serkan Gurbuz/Reuters


Soldiers dressed in WWII uniforms place wreaths in front of the Freedom Wall, with the Lincoln Memorial in the background, at the World War II Memorial during a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day in Washington May 8, 2015. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Soldiers dressed in WWII uniforms place wreaths in front of the Freedom Wall, with the Lincoln Memorial in the background, at the World War II Memorial during a ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day in Washington May 8, 2015. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

SHARE VIA TEXT