Home Arts & Culture The Blue Angels: Built by the Navy, Loved by America, At Home...

The Blue Angels: Built by the Navy, Loved by America, At Home in Pensacola

Red, White, and Blues Week kicks off this week on Pensacola Beach

Photo: Dana Hof

From active duty to retired, we can’t tell you enough what you mean to us.

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From the E-1s up to the Commanding Officer at NAS to every member of the Blue Angels team, you are to this city what the sunshine is to the beach. 

From the young people walking from bus stops toward the mall, with street clothes and a freshly peeled haircut to the grown men and women in flight suits in carlines and grocery stores all over our community – we SEE you. We see you when you’re at Gallery Night with friends and we quietly whisper goodbye and Godspeed when we see the moving trucks readying you for the next duty station. 

We may not say anything, but you should know we’re proud of you and we’re glad you’re here. We’re thankful for your service and hope you know that however long or short your stay is, you are woven into the DNA of Pensacola’s history forever. You are always welcome back, for a visit or to call Pensacola your forever home.

Pensacola’s history with NAS started in 1913 and the history of the Blue Angels stretches back to the late 40s, when a flight exhibition team formed to raise public interest in the Navy. Since then, Hellcats and Panthers, Tigers, and Super Hornets have torn across the Pensacola sky. 

With microscopic precision, they execute feats of aviation amazement across the country. The six-plane delta formation from the fifties still wows audiences from Milwaukee to Miramar. 

And every Sunday, they fly back home to us. We love sharing them, but we’re always glad to see ‘em coming back. 

No matter where we are or what we’re doing, Pensacola comes to a full stop for the Blues. 

We look out kitchen windows and front windshields, put down yard tools and telephones, and turn to the skies when we hear them.

At the sound of the roar and a glimpse at perfection, the hair on our arms stands at attention. 

All year round, we plan our picnics and plot our locations on the beach, behind Flounders, and the Sabine. We clean boats and find Koozies. We scope the best places in balconies and parking lots. We make playlists and friendships. It’s in our blood and our identity. 

On July 4, we celebrate this country and our freedom. And for the days after, we celebrate the best version of what it can be through excellence and teamwork, excitement, and exhilaration. 

It’s one of the best weeks of the Pensacola year – “Red, White, and Blues Week,” celebrated from July 4 til the Blue Angels fly, this year during July 10-13. 

And it never gets old, because when they tear past, it reminds us of the America we’ve been and the one we still are. 

They’re our hope for the future and the solid foundation of our past. 

They were built by the Navy and loved by America. 

But their home will always be our backyard…in patriotic Pensacola.