Honor Guard participates in Amelia Earhart statue dedication in Washington D.C.

  • Published
  • By Major Elizabeth Nugent

Honor Guard members from the Kansas Air National Guard presented the colors at the Amelia Earhart statue dedication ceremony in the National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol building, July 27.

The Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation invited Honor Guard members from the 190th Air Refueling Wing, Topeka, and the 184th Wing, Wichita, to present the colors during a statue dedication ceremony.

“When I found out I was chosen to lead the detail, I felt humbled and honored to fill this responsibility,” said Master Sgt. Ashley Grady, 190th ARW, Honor Guard member.

The statue of Amelia Earhart joined President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s statue in representing Kansas, offering a glimpse of Kansas’ innovation and adventurous spirit to those who visit Statuary Hall. Earhart is the 11th woman to receive a statue in her honor.  

“There is so much that happens behind the scene to coordinate, communicate and ensure the team is prepared, a high visibility detail is even more pressure,” said Grady. “But I knew our team would knock it out of the park.”

In attendance at this ceremony were members of Amelia Earhart’s family, the Atchison Amelia Earhart Foundation, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, various Kansas elected officials and Maj. Gen. Jeannie Leavitt, the first female fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. 

The Honor Guard team presented the colors during the national anthem for the ceremony opening. The statue was unveiled following speeches from Kansas and congressional leaders who emphasized the spirit that Amelia Earhart embodied and how she continues to inspire in people across the world.

“Amelia Earhart is a textbook example of persevering, adventuring outside of your comfort zone and never settling for less than what you’re capable of,” said Senior Airman Megan Loubhan, 190th ARW, Honor Guard member. “I think that’s a perfect testament to the Kansas state motto ‘Ad Astra per Aspera.’”