The Eastern Air Lines Pilot Memorial hangs on a wall in the North Terminal of the Atlanta Hartsfield - Jackson International Airport. Inscribed on the two plaques are the names of the 6744 pilots that flew for Eastern Air Lines prior to March 3, 1989. My name is inscribed on the first plaque, along with brother-in-law JD's, and The EG's, just to name a few.
Part of the inscription on the small plaque in the middle reads: "These plaques list the names of those departed who contributed so much to the Hartsfield International Airport through their participation as pilots with Eastern Air Lines."
Wait a minute, I'm still alive!
In years past, the memorial only listed the names of deceased pilots. When a pilot died, his or her name was added to the plaque. I often wondered if the names of the pilots from my era would ever make the wall. After all it's been almost twenty-three years since the IAM Strike, and the memories of Eastern Airlines are fading fast. I guess recently the Keepers of the Memorial decided it would be a good idea to just list all the pilots that had flown for Eastern, prior to the strike, and call it a day. I'm OK with that.
In Fate is the Hunter, Ernest K. Gann wrote that "Eastern Airlines pilots are singularly determined and clever. They are not given to timidity. . ." That was in the 1930's. Based on my experience fifty years later, not that much had changed. Sadly; we were not clever enough to prevent Frank Lorenzo's crew from taking things apart. That is something I'm not OK with.
"IT WAS A PRIVILEGE TO TO HAVE FLOWN WITH AND TO HAVE SHARED THE SKIES WITH THESE DEDICATED FELLOW PILOTS"