It was a moment of breathtaking honesty that epitomized what made this particular airshow so unique, and so moving. For the event wasn't just about fast or sexy airplanes. There was a real tangible sense, throughout the weekend, of a torch being passed. And the flame the elders were giving into the next generation's keeping wasn't just a legacy of fast airplanes, fanfare and triumph. It was also the memory of why all those beautiful planes had to be built in the first place; of an air war that was far more personal and difficult, because technology still required close-in combat. It was the history and truth of young men and women who did what was necessary, in a frightening time that took them to the limits of their courage, fears, strength and endurance. Of a part of their lives that they remember ironically as both the best and worst of times-where life was lived in sharp, essential colors, but where the highs of camaraderie, pride and adventure came with equally heavy burdens of hardship, tragedy and loss. And the quiet hope, as their time with us draws to a close, that future generations might find a way to avoid having to bear that kind of burden again.