Emotions Fly During Spitfire Dedication (Gallery)

WWII replica Spitfire in Essex. (Photo by Jason Viau)

Emotions were flying in Essex as the dedication ceremony for the replica Spitfire honoured everyone who served in the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The plane is modeled after Essex-native Jerry Billing, who flew a Spitfire during World War II. He was watching the ceremony online from his nursing home in Windsor.

Jerry’s son Erik fought back tears after the ceremony. “It stands for our freedom. If it wasn’t for guys like my father’s generation, we would have different flags flying on flag poles,” says Billing. “A lot of people don’t realize that, but a lot of those guys sacrificed a lot for us.”

The full-scale replica is now permanently displayed behind the Royal Canadian Legion in Essex. It took four weeks to build and cost $150,000.