Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;

Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth

Of sun-split clouds...and done a hundred things

You have not dreamed of...wheeled and soared and swung

High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,

I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung

My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace

Where never lark, or even eagle flew.

And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod

The high untrespassed sanctity of space

Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.



At his time, the only thing I can express is grief and sorrow for the victims, families and co-workers of this terrible tragedy. Larry Groff and Lars Stratte were two fine aviators who bravely and unselfishly risked their lives, protecting our forests and the homes of our citizens. They died doing what they loved to do.

The tanker community is small and tight knit. This loss is felt by everyone, nationwide in all 50 states, and internationally from Canada to Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands.

An Aircraft Dispatcher recently quoted "As I look in the sky I see two more angels with their golden wings. Their new home in the great heavenly sky, may they forever be free and fly safe."

Two candles have been lit in memory of Larry and Lars. May they rest in peace and enjoy eternal life forever.


Brian Kornegay has a site up and running where you can post your condolences.


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