Henry Ogrodzinski, 2014 EAA Memorial Wall Inductee

As AirVenture 2014 drew to a close this weekend there was a very simple, yet emotional, service at EAA to honor the memory of those we loved and lost this year. Included in the 2014 EAA Memorial Wall Inductees were Henry Ogrodzinski and EAA’s founder Paul Poberezny.

He was greatly missed this year. Whether it was walking around the fly-in, taking in the air show during the evening, or grabbing a drink together – he was always thereto tell his stories or share some advice.

Together my mother and I attended the service, capturing a few moments to share with family and friends. My mom signed the guest book simply as “Gloria O” which I thought was very cute. I do think she appreciated going with me, giving me a kiss on the cheek and saying I was a good son. I enjoy those moments…

Henry loved Oshkosh, and I do believe it held a special place in his heart. He will now be forever remembered for sharing the “Spirit of Aviation” and his love for EAA. I imagine him and Paul flying off into the horizon somewhere, enjoying their next great adventure together.

The Memorial Wall at EAA is located on the edge of Pioneer Airport near the Fergus Chapel. It was interesting to learn that its centerpiece is a monument formed of stones brought to Oshkosh from EAA members’ home states and countries.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds –
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of –
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
“Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God.

– John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

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