A few months ago, a story broke on local media outlets about the Quad City Air Show moving away from us due to the greed of city administration and budget bumps by the Municipal Airport where the show is normally being held. This is a letter which I have drafted to send to the Mayor of Davenport, as well as members of city council.
Dear Mr. Mayor and Members of the City Council of Davenport, Iowa,
I am writing to you today to express my exasperation, frustration, and offense taken by recent actions made by members of this great city’s administration. As a native of Davenport, Iowa, I have spent the greater part of my twenty-six years in this world in Davenport, and have been a proud citizen of such. I acknowledge a vast amount of culture that we have here as a city, and a bond of a small town community on a grander scale than many would understand. However, as a town with a bond, I feel it is necessary that when matters of great concern are brought to light, one should be able to take a stand and voice their concerns. To this end, I am writing to you today in regards to the Quad City Air Show and its future in our town.
I, like many citizens of the Quad Cities, have grown to associate the sound of the skies splitting a part to be synonymous with the sounds of Summer. I learned at a very young age that’s not only what Summer sounds like, but what security, safety, and pride for my country. I grew up with the displays of these powerful machines crisscrossing the skies, and was absolutely captivated by them. We do not live near an air base, we do not see such sights on a daily basis, and to see something as different as these craft in the skies was something that was simply awe-inspiring.
However, it has recently come to my attention that a matter of money and greed held by certain individuals may prevent those skies from being the stage of which they used to. I am of course, speaking in regards to price hikes and taxation at the Davenport Municipal Airport.
Fellow citizens, we cannot allow this to drive our friends at the Quad City Air Show away from us. If we were to drive them away, we must also agree we are turning our backs on the performers who enjoy visiting our fine city, the military that endorses those performances, and the veterans who look on in pride at those machines roaring across the sky. For this is not just a matter of keeping the wonder of aviation in our skies, but it is to honor those who do serve, have served, and continue to do so for our safety and freedoms. To allow something such as financial boon drive motivation behind the decisions of the city, we have let down veterans in our city, our servicemen and women, and our country. In addition, we have removed those who may inspire, and removed the inspiration from those who dream.
Just today, when driving around town, I was reminded that the inspiration has not yet been removed. I saw children on sidewalks staring in a daze at the skies, holding binoculars and throwaway cameras. I saw families sitting on their front lawn talking with each other and pointing on the horizon. This truly emulates the air show experience we see at the Quad City Air Show, but does not show the full extent of it. It doesn’t show the veteran with tears in his eyes, in full dress, saluting as the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds cry out overhead. It does not show the children running around with plastic planes, pretending to be pilots. It does not show that regardless of political background or ideologies, that everyone on the flight-line is a proud American. To remove the air show, is to remove all of these things.
This show was once the third largest in the nation, and the largest in the Midwest. It drew in people from all over to not only invest money in the city of Davenport, but to show support for the military. It was a symbol of how great our city and country was. It was a favorite place to visit by our flight demonstration teams. By far, it was and is also one of the largest events that the Quad Cities has to offer.
So I ask you, fellow citizens who act as our city officials, please resolve these issues with the air show. Do not let such a great thing get away from this town. We owe it to so many to once again host something as great as what this air show once was. If not for the sake of entertainment, for the sake of respect for the military which protects us, and the honor of those that served for us.