Press Release

Patrick honors 9/11 victims through artwork

By SpaceRef Editor
January 30, 2003
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Patrick honors 9/11 victims through artwork
let's roll

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. – For the first time in the 50-year launch history of Cape Canaveral, artwork appeared on a rocket launched from the Cape on Jan 29.

The successful launch of the Delta II carrying a Global Positioning System satellite and the experimental XSS-10 micro-satellite featured a nose art design with ‘Let’s Roll!’ honoring the victims and heroes of Sept. 11.

Throughout Air Force history, airmen have used aircraft nose art as a special way to express patriotism for their country and pride in their unit and crew. The “Let’s Roll!’ nose art was created to pay respect to the courage of those who died aboard United Flight 93, as well as all victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedies.

”Let’s Roll!’ has served as a rallying cry for this nation as we go forward in our war on terrorism,” said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper. ‘We are proud to display this new nose art on our aircraft.’

Todd Beamer, a passenger on Flight 93, made the words, ‘Let’s roll!’ famous. Beamer, a 32-year old passenger led other passengers for control of the hijacked flight before it crashed into a field in western Pennsylvania.

He was overhead on a cellular phone saying, ‘Let’s roll!’ as passengers charged the terrorists.

”Let’s Roll!’ reminds us all that every little thing matters because it matters greatly to the warfighters,’ said Capt. Joy Meade, project officer for the Delta II nose art and member of the 1st Space Launch Squadron. ‘We are a total force. Just as we rely on [warfighters], they need our support and dedication to be successful against the war on terrorism. It is a reminder that we are still in the fight for the victims of 9/11 and the warfighters of today. One team, one fight.’

The ‘Let’s Roll!’ nose art serves not only as a reminder of Sept. 11, but also refers to the Global Positioning System’s impact to the warfighter, according to Capt. Meade.

The system is the key link to vectoring laser-guided bombs into terrorist caves. For the rest of the nation, the GPS satellite serves various purposes for the nation such as assistance with gas purchases and credit card use.

The nose art design, depicting an eagle soaring in front of the U. S. flag with the words ‘Spirit of 9-11’ on the top and ‘Let’s Roll!’ on the bottom, was created by Senior Airman Duane White, from Air Combat Command’s multimedia center at Langley AFB, Va.

All major commands and wings were authorized to place the nose art on one aircraft of their choice. The Delta II was the only space aircraft to display the nose art. The Thunderbirds and other Air Force demonstration teams have applied the nose art on all their aircraft.

SpaceRef staff editor.