Chicopee Elementary students throw Birthday Party for the USAF & Westover

  • Published
  • By W.C.Pope
  • 439th Airlift Wing

Children at Chicopee’s Herbert Bowie Elementary School held a 75th Air Force Birthday party, on Sept. 15. Each of the 270 kindergarten through fifth-grade students wore a 75th logo tee shirt.

Col. Joseph Janik, 439th Airlift Wing commander was one of the special guests who spoke at the event. Principal Norman Burgess led the program. He spoke of the close relationship between the school and the base.

“Years ago the school was actually part of Westover and during the Berlin Airlift, Bowie Students contributed candy on parachutes that were then dropped for the children from cargo planes that were delivering food,” Said Principal Burgess.

Burgess introduced Col. Janik as the person who is the boss of all of those big planes you see flying in the sky. He thanked the students for welcoming new military students to their classes.

Col. Janik asked the students, “Who has parents in the military or work on base?”

A few students raised their hands and named the branch of service they worked for.

To finish the program Principal Burgess presented framed artwork the children had made. The students concluded with patriotic songs and everyone got a piece of birthday cake.