By Special and Staff Reports
Delta Air Lines dedicated a Boeing 757-200 in a private event on Sept. 28 to honor Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery as part of his 90th birthday celebration.
“The English language affords us a two-word combination to express appreciation and gratitude for services rendered; however, thank you hardly seems appropriate to express the gratitude and appreciation for the commitments made by Dr. Lowery,” said.Scarlet Pressley-Brown, director-external affairs and community relations and vice president of Delta Air Lines.
More than 300 Delta employees, representing all six of its global diversity employee network group, and several special guests attended the dedication. Both Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Ambassador Andrew Young were present for the ceremony that was a surprise for Lowery, who has been called the “Dean of the Civil Rights Movement” in America.
“We raised the curtain and surprised Dr. Lowery by unveiling his signature and his well-earned title, ‘Dean of the Civil Rights Movement’ under the pilot’s window,” Delta CEO Richard Anderson later wrote in a communication to all Delta employees. “During the event, we talked about the importance of the values at Delta, including diversity, equality, dignity and respect. So it was a great week and coming up we’re going to be participating in his 90th birthday.”
Lowery’s 90th birthday celebration will be officially celebrated on Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. at Atlanta Symphony Hall. The event is presented by Delta Air Lines, Coca Cola Company and Kia Motors Inc., the evening will be hosted by CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien and include performances by Stevie Wonder, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Jennifer Holliday, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Cicely Tyson, Peabo Bryson, Dawnn Lewis and other special guests.
Tickets to Rev. Dr. Lowery’s 90th birthday celebration are available for $100, $75 and $50 at the Woodruff Arts Center Box Office and online at www.loweryinstitute.org or by calling 404-733-5000.
On Oct. 15, this same aircraft will fly key civil rights leaders – including Dr. Lowery — and their families to the official unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in our nation’s capital.
A personal keepsake model of the aircraft was also presented to Lowery, a co-founder with Martin Luther King Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.. Delta Air Lines Capt. William Davis, who will be in command of the charter flight to Washington, D.C., presented the model.