The special moments and emotions were abundant from the Air Force Academy's graduation for 40 squadrons of the Class of 2019 on Thursday, May 30, at Falcon Stadium.

They are strong

It was hard to make out when shouted by a thousand voices, but the cheer the Class of 2019 issued at every mention of their graduation year has footsteps on the moon.

The cadets shouted "Strong," their shorthand version of Neil Armstrong. Every class picks an exemplar and 2019 picked Armstrong for his lunar feat as the first man on the moon and for his accomplishments as a Navy fighter pilot.

The graduation came just weeks ahead of the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing.

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Missing Thunderbird

One of the Thunderbirds that was to be part of the air show over Falcon Stadium on Thursday had to return to Peterson Air Force Base after a bird hit the jet's canopy soon after takeoff.

Initially reported as a mechanical problem, the Air Force later said it was caused by the jet striking a bird.

The F-16 landed without incident and did not rejoin the rest of the Air Force aerobatic team for the show that followed graduation at the Air Force Academy.