CLEVELAND — They fell from the sky in honor of our heroes. The Army's Golden Knights passed the baton to a family that has been grieving for the last five decades, but on Labor Day, that family couldn't stop smiling.
John Petric Jr., was only four when his father died.
"This parachute badge is one of my father's," Petric said.
His father, John Petric Sr.,a Collinwood resident and a 1955 graduate of Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School, was killed at 31 during combat in Vietnam. He left behind his three kids and wife who never remarried.
"He pulled three of his men off the flight line, because they were injured, and then moments later, he was killed," Petric's widow, Linda Petric said.
In 1962, Petric Sr. was the first assigned pilot for the Golden Knights.
His family attended a show in 1963.
On Monday, Petric's family had the opportunity to meet the current Golden Knights.
After their performance during the Air Show, they honored Petric by giving his family the baton they used during the show.
There's a memorial in honor of Petric that was put in place in 2016 at Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School.