On Sunday, June 5th, 2016 at 7:00 PM local time, Team Fastrax™ performed an amazing skydiving demonstration to honor a unique group of more than 70 WWII veterans (around 45 British and 25 American) who have received a French Legion of Honor. It was the largest gathering of Allied veterans during the June commemoration week this year. The performance was held at the Normandy Institute campus at the Château de Bernaville in Picauville, France, and included 1,100 sq. ft. French and British flags, as well as the rare Allied flag. Unfortunately United Airlines sent the large American Flag to Chicago. The team was able to locate several small American flags and flew them above the Chateau, presenting them to the granddaughter of General Eisenhower and grandson of General Montgomery. Vince Hagg, a veteran who scaled Pointe du Hoc on D-Day as a member of Company D 2nd Ranger Battalion said, “It was spectacular to see those beautiful flags flying so high in the air”.
The jump was filmed with a special 360-degree camera which will produce a virtual reality video that can be viewed with 360-degree devices like the Samsung Gear VR. John Hart, owner of Start Skydiving, and member of Team Fastrax™, plans on making the virtual reality video available to veterans who might want to experience the jump from the comforts of home. Mr. Hart is excited about this new technology and commented, “Members of Team Fastrax™ have served the United States of America as part of the Armed Forces, many in combat. So, to be a part of such a remarkable event is a great honor. I’m particularly excited about being able to provide veterans with the opportunity to experience this skydive from a first-hand point of view. The veterans from all three nations fought bravely and deserve to be honored for their sacrifices. God bless America, and God bless the Allied soldiers who fought alongside us.”
In addition to the Team Fastrax™ performance, four veterans received the Legion of Honor medal, presented by Gen. Olivier Tramond, Commandeur of the Legion of Honor. Susan Eisenhower, granddaughter of General Dwight Eisenhower rang the Freedom Bell to honor the Allied veterans who sacrificed their lives.
According to the Normandy Institute website, their mission is to engage leaders and educators in shaping the future creating strategic alliances, advancing understanding of history, and applying this knowledge to complex global issues. Their vision is to be the destination of choice in France for building knowledge and effective leadership in an interconnected world. To do this they will provide an educational and residential campus with state-of-the-art facilities on an historic site where current and future leaders can drive change.
Since the inception of Team Fastrax™ in 2002, they have performed thousands of exhibition skydives at every entertainment venue imaginable. Team Fastrax™ has performed in more than 25 nations. The team is approved to jump into highly-restricted airspace and is the only team to have performed over Ground Zero on 9/11 in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA and over the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. We jump at balloon festivals, air shows, NASCAR, Indy Race League, Formula One, symphony performances, golf courses, amusement parks, tennis courts, the Red Bull Air Races and our favorite, veteran support events. In addition, we have performed at various sports venues such as Major League Baseball, the National Football League, Major League Soccer, NCAA baseball, football and lacrosse, high school sporting events and others; sometimes dressed in mascot costumes and franchise uniforms. Team Fastrax™ is sponsored by SELECTiON.COM®, a leading provider of criminal background checks and pre-employment screening services.