High Flight

High Flight

Jun 29, 2016, 6:57 PM |

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds -
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."

-- John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (June 9, 1922 - December 11, 1941

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the passing of John Magee, who, after writing this inspiring poem, passed in a tragic midair collision in England.  He was 19 years old. This classic aviator's poem is read, enjoyed, remembered, memorized and venerized by millions. In almost every airport and almost every hanger and almost every aviation museum and almost every military aviation office; look around; and chances are, you will find High Flight.