Capt. Sullenberger's heroic landing celebrated 5 years later

By: Allison Harris Email
By: Allison Harris Email

DENISON, TEXAS -- A moment of decisive, strong leadership during chaos defined Captain Sully Sullenberger's life five years ago.

The "hero on the Hudson", a 1969 graduate of Denison High School, told his friends back home that he felt he'd been training all his life for that moment.

"All the training he'd received in the military, plus the training he'd received as an airline pilot. All that came into play in that moment," Denison ISD Superintendent Dr. Henry Scott said.

Scott was a teacher when Captain Sullenberger was president of the Denison High School band.

"He was looked on as a leader, but he was very serious in what he did and how he prepared himself and you could see that he was going to do well in the world," Scott said.

From an early age, Sullenberger was inspired by Perrin Air Force Base, in his own backyard.

Upon graduation, he left Denison for the Air Force Academy, joining the ranks of men and women, like veteran James Farris.

"He became a pilot and so many of our commercial pilots got their training in the military," Farris said.

Farris operates the Perrin Air Force Base Museum, to inspire more young people to become heroic service members, like Sullenberger.

"We are here to sell the Air Force and the fact that the U.S. Military is really the guardian of peace around the world," Farris said.

On this day in 2009, Sullenberger did guard the lives of 155 passengers. Now, five years later, Denison is remembering the heroic acts of one of its own, and how Sullenberger became an icon of the city on the Hudson that day.


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