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War planes take centre stage at air show in Lethbridge, Alta

July 28, 2008, Lethbridge, Alta. - War planes, including a group that recreated the attack on Pearl Harbour, took centre stage this weekend at the Alberta International Air Show.


July 28, 2008
By Administrator

July 28, 2008, Lethbridge, Alta. – War planes, including a group that recreated the attack on Pearl Harbour, took centre stage this weekend at the Alberta International Air Show.

There was the gigantic C-17 Globemaster, an addition to the Canadian Armed Forces fleet, that can carry tons of equipment from Canada to Afghanistan, and the A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II, perhaps the
ugliest fighter in the U.S. Air Force, which has proven its worth in the war in Iraq.

Smoke, fire and explosions swirled in the Tora Tora Tora aerial performance, a simulation of the air attack on Pearl Harbour.

It created a minor controversy in Lethbridge, which has a large Japanese-Canadian population, when Aya Hironaka, 71, told the Calgary Sun a week ago that the show would stir up bad memories,
feelings of guilt and negative perceptions.

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She noted Japanese-Canadians are getting set to mark an anniversary of their own – the internment of 22,000 of them across Canada as a result of the air attacks on Pearl Harbour.

However, Douglas Rees, 87, a survivor of the 1941 Japanese conquest of Hong Kong and the brutal captivity that followed, said Peal Harbour is a part of history that should never be forgotten.

Despite the hot and humid weather, security personnel said about 30,000 people turned out Saturday for the first day of the air show.

Terry and Darlene MacFarlane travelled from Calgary to see the show for the first time, catching a glimpse of the war planes and their capabilities.

"It's just seeing them up close, seeing them first hand, watching them,'' Terry said. "It's neat to watch the explosions, wrecking stuff, the sound.''

Terry said he enjoyed a mock attack involving ground forces and CF-18 aircraft.

"They had the air support, they had some helicopters come in and they were repelling from the helicopters. You can read about it and watch it on TV, but to actually watch them go through the whole scenario it was very enlightening.''

Watching the aircraft in motion gave Darlene a better understanding appreciation of the Armed Forces.

“It gives people a feel of … what they do over in
Afghanistan,'' she said.