FORT WORTH, Texas — Updated Wednesday with photos and video from the flyover.
Many North Texans turned their eyes to the sky on Wednesday to watch the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels fly over Dallas and Fort Worth.
The Angels roared through the air, inspiring healthcare heroes on the ground. The flyover's purpose was to honor healthcare workers, first responders and essential workers on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. The jets have been making special appearances in cities across the country.
At John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, dozens of doctors, nurses and hospital workers gathered outside to watch the flyover.
“That was the best thing I’ve ever seen,” said Shelley Cochran, who became emotional describing the moment to reporters. “I’m just so proud that they came for us we really appreciate it. It was wonderful.”
The flyover was a salute to workers across the metroplex, but JPS employees were among the lucky ones that witnessed the colorful planes make a complete circle around them as the crowd cheered.
“My heart was pounding so fast just to see them coming this direction,” said nurse Cindy Putty.
The moment only lasted a few seconds, but as the roar of the jet engines faded away, it left behind much-needed energy and motivation.
“Anything like this really brings joy to our hearts,” Putty said. “It helps us move and it helps us going forward step by step.”
The Blue Angels also planned flyovers in Houston and New Orleans Wednesday.
Countless people watched the flight over the region, capturing glimpses of the team, including workers at hospitals, who came outside to see the flyover.
James Swandol, who watched from Baylor Scott & White Medical Center in McKinney, served in the Army for eight eyars adn did two tours in Iraq. He said seeing the Blue Angels was "pretty awesome."
"We're always saluting the military for things they do and now they are turning around and saluting us. It's pretty awesome," he said.
Lisa Wagner, in Arlington, said the show was "impressive."
"It kind of made me misty-eyed, you know, just thinking about all the doctors and the nurses and the frontline workers. It was pretty impressive."
Colette Pattersonsaw the planes with her daughter Lexi sitting on top of their car in a parking lot in Deep Ellum.
"I just wanted her to see it because I grew up with them," she said.
What we saw
Here are a few of the best shots shared with WFAA on social media:
Raw video of Blue Angels over downtown Dallas from Julia Reece:
Reporter Kevin Reece shared a still photo of his view from downtown Dallas:
WFAA photojournalist Taylor Lumsden caught the jets flying over Methodist Richardson Medical Center:
The Blue Angels released their official flight path, with times they would be overhead communities, on Twitter Tuesday.
They encouraged North Texas residents not to travel and instead observe the flyover from their homes.
"Social distancing should be practiced at all times," the Blue Angels tweeted. "Stay home and stay safe!"
The Blue Angels began their flyover near Baylor Medical McKinney Hospital at 11 a.m.
From there, the jets went south, making a sweeping run over The Colony to the west, before continuing south to circle over Dallas.
After flying over Duncanville, the Blue Angels turned north then east, flying between Farmers Branch and Grapevine around 11:17 a.m.
The route continued west before going into an "S" pattern to fly over Keller, North Richland Hills, Arlington and Forest Hills.
The jets then circled over Fort Worth before making a bit of a "U" pattern, north then south, before flying out of the area at 11:35 a.m.
Over the weekend, the jets flew over Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Atlanta in similar appearances, after making a trip to New York City last week.
The Department of Defense said the Blue Angels has had a number of their presentations canceled due to coronavirus.
These flyovers across the country will come at not additional cost to taxpayers, the DOD said, because they are using the flights to help pilots meet critical training requirements and flight hours.
Additionally, some flyovers, including the one in Dallas, will only feature either the Blue Angels or the Thunderbirds, in order to allow the DOD to reach as many Americans as possible. Some shows, such as the ones over the weekend, will feature both teams.
WFAA reporter Tiffany Liou contributed to this report.
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