TYLER, Texas — Tyler will host the second Rose City Airfest on Friday, an event that was a hit the first time around.
This year, the B-29 plane will be active. It's one of two historic models left flying in the world. There will also be various planes flying around the East Texas skies and touching down at the airport for those to observe.
However, there is a much bigger meaning to the whole airshow itself. The event was created to benefit CampV, the only location in Tyler that serves all East Texas veterans and their needs.
“The air show is raising funds for CampV," said CampV co-founder Susan Campbell. "That’s really critical because what CampV does is serve all of our veterans, active duty reserves, and all their families right here in East Texas.”
Many veterans were in attendance for the pre-event ceremony on Thursday evening. Various speakers, including Tyler Mayor Don Warren, took the stage to share a few words.
But the biggest surprise of all came shortly after Warren's speech.
General Paul Landers was called to the stage to share a few words. He holds a long list of accomplishments, having served in the military for over 30 years. In fact, he was part of the fourth graduating class ever from the United States Air Force Academy.
To his surprise, he was presented with something that would last a lifetime. Smith County officially dedicated June 30 to him, naming it "General Paul Landers Day."
He was immediately met with a deafening standing ovation with the applause lasting nearly a minute long.
Landers was speechless as he just smiled in front of the crowd, adding yet another accomplishment to his heroic life.
The Rose City Airfest will continue on Friday. Doors open at 2 p.m. with the show beginning at 6:30 p.m.