Thu., May. 17, 2012 7:51 PM EDT
by Joycelyn A. Wilson PhD
Delta Airlines Dedicates 767 Jet to Ambassador Andrew Young
In a quasi-surprise ceremony, Andrew Young – former Ambassador to the United Nations, and civil rights legend – had a Delta Airlines 767 Jet Dedicated and named after him today to honor his lifetime achievements and kick off his 80th birthday celebration, which culminates Sunday, May 20 at the Atlanta Hyatt.
The dedication took place at Delta Airlines’ General Offices before his family and a group of his closest friends and colleagues, including Richard Anderson, chief executive officer of Delta Airlines; Scarlett Pressley-Brown, director of external affairs and community relations and vice president for Delta Air Lines Foundation; and former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin.
Tri-Cities High School’s marching band ushered in the day’s ceremony playing Bill Withers’ “Lovely Day,” followed by a welcome from Carolyn Young, his wife and vice president of the Andrew Young Foundation. “Andy and Delta were destined to work together,” smiled Mrs. Young. ”They are both visionaries; a hometown hero and a homegrown airline have helped turn Atlanta into the successful place that it is.”
Shirley Franklin, putting the day in a historical perspective, described the day as a moment in time to recognize how Young has sacrificed in so many ways. “We stand on his shoulders as we move into the 21st century” Franklin told the audience. ”I can’t imagine what his friends in Heaven will say when they see this airplane with “Andrew Young: Atlanta’s Ambassador to the World” flying through the sky. “
“Under his stewardship,” said Anderson regarding Young’s time as a Delta board member, “Delta [Airlines] grew to be the largest carrier in the world. He’s part of our family.”
The ceremony focused primarily on Young’s legacy of service in Atlanta and around the world. “What we’ve done in Atlanta — working together and moving forward — has to be global,” Young emphasized when he stepped to the mic to give comments. “We can’t solve our problems if Greece is in a recession. We can’t unless China is doing well or unless Africa is doing well.” He concluded by congratulating Delta for flying distances to bring people together in order to make the world a better place.
The Andrew Young 767 left today for Manchester, England.
Joycelyn A. Wilson, Ph.D.
is the Hiphop Archive Fellow at Harvard University’s Du Bois Institute and assistant professor of Education Foundations at Virginia Tech. A native of Atlanta, Dr. Joyce co-produced with Andrew Young the Emmy-winning documentary “Walking With Guns.” You can reach her on Twitter @drjoyce1107 or on her site www.drjoyce.net