Thursday, July 22, 2010

Iowa Governor Chet Culver Meets 42N


Iowa Governor Chet Culver made a trip to 42N country on Wednesday to give a speech at the groundbreaking of a local solar cell training center. Before departing the Cedar Rapids airport for Hiawatha, the Governor took a few minutes to talk with the 42N editor and a small crowd who gathered to watch a vintage B-17 take off.

Timing is everything in politics. The governor arrived just a few minutes after the B-17 "Aluminum Overcast" left for a 30-minute ride for its paying customers - including a WWII vet who last flew on a Flying Fortress in 1945. Those who helped a dozen or so passengers on a dream flight waited around until the plane returned. It was a captive crowd for the Governor, this being an election year.

After a few minutes he and his entourage left for nearby Hiawatha. What he missed within 30 minutes of his departure was the return of the B-17 and more importantly, the return of the body of a USAF Captain who was recently killed in Afghanistan. David Wisniewski's body was returned to Iowa City for ceremonies before eventually being flown to Arlington National Cemetery for burial on August 23.

Had the top state executive's staff been more attuned on the events of the day, the Governor could have attended the receiving ceremony just one hanger away by delaying the groundbreaking ceremony an hour or so. The Governor did order US flags in Iowa be flown at half staff on Saturday to honor Captain Wisniewski.