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President Trump announces Air Force Thunderbirds and Navy Blue Angels will perform air shows honoring health care workers

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'Operation America Strong' will feature flyovers across the US to pay tribute to American medical workers

Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Health care workers have been on the front lines fighting the coronavirus pandemic that has infected 850,000 Americans. So how do you show appreciation for medical workers who put themselves in jeopardy to battle the deadly COVID-19 virus? Parades aren't an option with the social distancing and elimination of group events. The Trump administration will pay tribute to brave health care workers with air shows all across the country by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and the U.S. Air Force's Thunderbirds.

President Donald Trump announced that Blue Angels and Thunderbirds will be doing flyovers above major U.S. cities in honor of "American medical workers" in what is being called "Operation America Strong."

"I'm excited to announce that in the coming weeks, the Air Force Thunderbirds — are incredible — and the Navy Blue Angels — equally incredible — will be performing air shows over America's major cities," President Trump said.

"What we're doing is we're paying tribute to our frontline health care workers confronting COVID."

"And it's really a signal to all Americans to remain vigilant during the outbreak," Trump added. "This is a tribute to them, to our warriors. Because they are equal warriors to those incredible pilots and all of the fighters that we have for the more traditional fights that we win and we win."

"Operation America Strong was the idea of our great military men and women," Trump said. "The Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels crews who wanted to show support to the American medical workers who, just like military members in the time of war, are fiercely running toward the fight. It's gonna be great. I want to see those shows."

President Trump did not specify which cities the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels would fly over, but added that the jet fighter squadrons would also soar over some areas that "aren't major cities."

The Air Force's Thunderbirds already performed a tribute to health care workers last week. The Thunderbirds first did a flyover of the Air Force Academy's graduation in to Colorado Springs on Saturday.

But the Thunderbirds weren't done. The fighter jets refueled in mid-flight so they could fly around medical facilities and metropolitan areas in Colorado to show their support to health care workers and lift the spirits of Americans who have been locked down for weeks.

"We salute Colorado's healthcare workers and first responders who are at the forefront of our nation's fight against COVID-19. They are an inspiration for the entire country during these challenging times and it was an honor to fly for them yesterday," the Thunderbirds' official Twitter account wrote.

On April 11, the Thunderbirds performed aerial demonstrations over 18 hospitals and medical facilities in their "home city of Las Vegas to honor the frontline medical personnel combatting COVID-19."

On Wednesday, President Trump also said he planned to bring back his "Salute to America" celebration that was held last Independence Day on the National Mall.

"And on July 4th, we'll be doing what we had at the mall, as you know, we're going to be doing it," Trump said. "Last year was a tremendous success. And I would imagine we'll do it — hopefully I can use the term 'forever.' It was a great success, as you remember, even though it was pouring."

Last year's celebration featured U.S. military vehicles, fireworks, and a flyover by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels.

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