Ready for take­off

The Columbus Dispatch - - Front Page - By Randy Lud­low The Colum­bus Dis­patch

Chil­dren, his­tory are in fo­cus at Dewine in­au­gu­ral fes­tiv­i­ties at Air Force mu­seum

DAY­TON — Less than 2 miles away, the Wright brothers per­fected their fab­u­lous fly­ing ma­chine early in the last cen­tury.

Hun­dreds of fam­i­lies, chil­dren in tow, turned out at the Na­tional Mu­seum of the United States Air Force for a pre-in­au­gu­ral event Sun­day pro­duced by in­com­ing Gov. Mike Dewine's in­au­gu­ral and tran­si­tion team billed as “Sci­ence, Dis­cov­ery and Fam­ily Fun.”

Chil­dren gazed in won­der at his­toric air­craft, in­clud­ing the famed B-17 Fly­ing Fortress “Mem­phis Belle” of World War II, and par­tic­i­pated in hands-on learn­ing and ex­hibits.

Sur­round­ing them was an ar­ray of amaz­ing air­craft, from fighter jets to pro­pel­ler planes that fer­ried pres­i­dents around the na­tion — and, in Franklin D. Roo­sevelt's case, to the Malta Con­fer­ence to meet Win­ston Churchill in 1945.

The day be­fore tak­ing the oath of of­fice, Dewine urged the chil­dren in at­ten­dance to give flight to their dreams.

As he stood be­neath the tail of the Air Force One that car­ried pres­i­dents Kennedy through Clin­ton — and on which Lyn­don John­son took the oath of of­fice while fer­ry­ing JFK’S body back

to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., from Dal­las — Dewine talked of chil­dren and paving their fu­ture, from in­ner cities to Ap­palachia.

“There’s noth­ing more im­por­tant than the ed­u­ca­tion of our chil­dren,” said Dewine, who was sched­uled to take the oath of of­fice early Mon­day at his Cedarville-area home.

Dewine, led by a pledge to im­prove early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion, has promised that K-12 ed­u­ca­tion will be a pri­or­ity on his watch, and he called on the chil­dren and their par­ents to em­brace sci­ence, tech­nol­ogy, en­gi­neer­ing and math­e­mat­ics as part of their fu­ture.

The Repub­li­can noted that the com­ing year will mark the 50th since Ohioan Neil Arm­strong be­came the first man to step foot on the moon.

His re­marks con­cluded, chil­dren and their par­ents scat­tered through­out the 19 acres un­der roof to learn and par­take of his­tory. Dewine and his wife, Fran, walked the cav­ernous space pos­ing for self­ies and shak­ing hands.

There was one un­ex­pected de­liv­ery. Boy Scout James Nord­meyer, 11, of Enon, showed up with a box of pop­corn that Dewine or­dered and bought at a Clark County leg­isla­tive fundraiser a few months back. James, who sold more than $3,000 worth of pop­corn, con­fessed to be­ing “ner­vous” in hand­ing the ker­nels to the gover­nor-to-be.

Bill Woody, a 92-yearold World War II mer­chant ma­rine from River­side, arose from his wheel­chair to give Dewine a hug and a kiss, pro­claim­ing that he is a “Mike Dewine man.”

Woody, who be­came a car­pen­ter after his ser­vice on the seas, helped to build Wright Pat­ter­son Air Force Base.

Dewine was to de­liver his in­au­gu­ral speech at the State­house on Mon­day fol­low­ing a cer­e­mo­nial swear­ing-in cer­e­mony.

Dewine said he would take his of­fi­cial oath at his home early Mon­day atop a stack of nine fam­ily Bibles so each of his eight chil­dren could one day have one on which he swore to guide Ohio.

[BROOKE LAVALLEY/DIS­PATCH]

Ohio Gov.-elect Mike Dewine speaks to a crowd at the Na­tional Mu­seum of the United States Air Force in Day­ton on Sun­day dur­ing a fam­ily-friendly event that in­cluded ac­tiv­i­ties for kids.

PHO­TOS] [BROOKE LAVALLEY/DIS­PATCH

At cen­ter, Mike Dewine and his wife, Fran, stand while the All-ohio State Fair Youth Choir sings the na­tional an­them at the Na­tional Mu­seum of the United States Air Force.

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