The Texas Flying Legends Museum on 10 Sept, 2016 was part of the dedication of the Soldier Tree Memorial in Estevan, Canada. “As a young man, I wanted to join the military. As a grandfather, it’s the last thing I would want to be, in an armed combat and those young people who went over there in the Second World War to fight, they just wanted to come home, and many didn’t.” “The chainsaw-sculpted monument, by artist Darren Jones, is a tribute to Canada’s military veterans, especially those who served in the Second World War …”
TFLM flew their Spitfire MkIX and Harvard from their hangar at Dakota Territory Air Museum to Estevan for the 12:07 flyover during the dedication ceremony. It seemed the whole town was present with the estimated crowd of 700 at the ceremony. Their first flyover was over the parade that brought the vets, including TFLM’s friend Barry Needham, to the Soldier Tree. Then the Spitfire and Harvard did single plane passes over the tree and then one last formation flight. From there, the two aircraft headed to the Estevan airport for a static display.
The turn out at the airport to see the two aircraft was pretty impressive considering the size of the town. The two TFLM pilots, Warren Pietsch (Spitfire) and Casey Odegaard (Harvard) were busy talking with the public, answering questions and having their pictures taken. The news was present covering the event and interviewing Pietsch about the flyover and the mission of TFLM. Nearly 200 TFLM booklets were passed out to the appreciative crowd before the two planes taxied off and flew back to Minot. One participant said, “When those two planes taxied up to the hangar, everything stopped, some stood and saluted before all erupted in applause.” TFLM was honored to participate in thanking all vets, of yesterday and today, for the freedoms we enjoy today.