Hero's welcome planned for Sullenberger

January 21, 2009 3:54:58 PM PST
A Danville high school student will sing the national anthem and the U.S. Air Force Color Guard will perform during a hero's homecoming celebration Saturday being held in honor of US Airways Capt. Chesley Sullenberger, a spokesman for the town said today.

Danville has planned the event to welcome home the man who piloted last Thursday's US Airways flight safely into the Hudson River in New York, saving the lives of all 155 people on board.

In further tribute to the "Hero of the Hudson" for the events that unfolded that day, Congressman Jerry McNerney introduced a resolution today that honors Sullenberger and the crew of Flight 1549 for quick thinking and deft actions in saving passengers' lives.

The airplane went down shortly after leaving New York's LaGuardia Airport. The Airbus A320 was en route to Charlotte, N.C., when Sullenberger was forced to land it in the water after it hit a flock of birds.

Danville's celebration will take place at 1 p.m. on the Town Green at 400 Front St. Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich, Town Council members and McNerney all plan to attend.

Danville spokesman Greg Gilbert, said town officials have also invited Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and are working with his office to see if he will be able to attend.

"It's a schedule issue," he said. "I'm sure he would rather be here than dealing with the Legislature."

The program will include remarks by elected officials, presentation of the colors by the U.S. Air Force Color Guard out of Travis Air Force Base, and a performance of the national anthem by San Ramon Valley High School student Grace Leer, Gilbert said.

Leer was a finalist in the American Idol's "American Juniors" television show, according to her Web site, and performs at events around the Bay Area.

Sullenberger and his wife Lorraine, who attended President Obama's inauguration in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, are honoring a request from the U.S. Airline Pilots Association to refrain from public comments until the investigation of last Thursday's crash is completed, said family spokeswoman Libby Smiley.

Event details:
Captain Sullenberger homecoming ceremony
Saturday, January 24, 1 p.m.
Town Green, 400 Front Street, Danville, CA
Sullenberger and his family will be honored by Danville Mayor Newell Arnerich and the Danville Town Council, Congressman Jerry McNerney, and other dignitaries.