WHEREAS, the United States is recognized as the global leader in aerospace safety, efficiency, and innovation; and the aerospace industry relies upon a skilled workforce to maintain this exemplary level of quality; and
WHEREAS, leaders in government and in our communities recognize the importance of the aerospace industry to the economic prosperity and national security of the United States; and
WHEREAS, women have been involved in aviation since its earliest days, including E. Lillian Todd, who designed and built aircraft in 1906, Harriet Quimby who, in 1911, became the first woman to earn a pilot certificate and cross the English Channel, and Helen Richey, who became the first woman pilot for a U.S. commercial airline in 1934; and
WHEREAS, women also lead in our exploration into space, such as astronaut Dr. Sally Ride who, in 1983, was the first American woman in space, Jeana Yeager who copiloted the first non-stop, non-refueled flight around the world in 1986, and astronaut Eileen Collins, who became the first female Space Shuttle Pilot in 1997 and first female Space Shuttle Commander in 1999; and
WHEREAS, although the number of women involved in the aviation industry has steadily increased, during the last two decades, only 16 percent of people working in the aircraft, spacecraft, and manufacturing industry are female; and
WHEREAS, our nation’s continued success in the area of aeronautics and its importance for our national security depends on the inclusion of women in the science fields critical to aviation;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize October 13, 2018, as WOMEN IN AVIATION DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.