Hero pilot and crew get keys to NYCPosted: Updated:
(AP) - Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented keys to thecity to US Airways Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger and hiscrew, thanking them "for sparing our city and so many familiesfrom an awful tragedy."
"It is now my great pleasure to introduce five real Americanheroes," Bloomberg said at the City Hall ceremony. "I certainlyhope that you feel at home here. And you should. New York City ..is a city full of heroes."
Sullenberger ditched Flight 1549 in the frigid water of theHudson River on Jan. 15 after a flock of birds disabled both of theplane's engines just minutes after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport.All 155 people aboard survived.
The presentation came after a weekend media blitz for the heropilot, co-pilot and three flight attendants including interviewsSunday evening on CBS' "60 Minutes" and Monday morning on ABC's"Good Morning America" and CBS' "The Early Show."
Sullenberger and his family also were the toast of BroadwaySaturday night when they received a standing ovation from theaudience at "South Pacific" and went backstage to meet the castof the musical, which recounts the heroic stories of a group ofAmerican aviators, nurses and sailors during World War II.
During the event with the mayor, Sullenberger emphasized thatwhile he's gotten a lot of the credit for the emergency landing, itwas a team effort, and he praised the crew, first responders andthe passengers.
Bloomberg, presenting the honors on behalf of "8.3 milliongrateful New Yorkers," said the city felt "a strong connection"to the story - dubbed the miracle on the Hudson - "because thesebrave individuals who managed to save every single passenger onthat flight lived ... an ideal that ... we all aspire to."