It is weird when you go all the way to the nation's capital to find news for your hometown, but here goes! Town of Danville Mayor, Newell Arnerich, called me tonight, to say that the town will hold a ceremony this weekend to honor U.S. Airways Pilot Chesley Sullenberger.
It's not certain which day will be selected. They are checking the forecast and also the possibility that Capt. Sullenberger may have to come back to Washington to speak further with NTSB investigators. But, as of now, the plan is to hold the weekend event on the town green near the library.
The Sullenbergers could make some public remarks at the Danville event, but are declining formal media interviews because the investigation is ongoing.
In the meantime, they are in Washington for the Inaugural at the invitation of President-elect Obama, said Mayor Arnerich. President Bush has also phoned his congratulations to the pilot.
The Sullenbergers plan no public statement while in Washington. "They just asked people to give them the opportunity to enjoy the festivities," Arnerich said. The Mayor said that Lorrie Sullenberger and her two daughters, Katy and Kelly, were reunited with Chesley Sullenberger. It was the first time they had been together since the U.S. Airways Captain safely landed his crippled jet on the Hudson River last Thursday, saving the lives of all 155 people on board.
The Mayor is looking forward to attending the Inaugural, as well, and then having the Sullenbergers return to Danville. "Well, I think as a community we are immensely proud to recognize a real hometown American hero," Mayor Arnerich said. "He's a genuinely nice guy."
Mayor Arnerich added that Sullenberger has been receiving messages of congratulation and appreciation from all over the world. Arnerich, who is in Washington on official town business, also met with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria today, personally inviting them to the Sullenberger recognition day in Danville. The Governor has not yet made a decision on whether he can attend.
I will have further updates on the Inauguration and the Sullenbergers. Just check back in at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.