Steady winds…..Velvet sands
Determined Brothers…..Willing hands
Gifted men…..Self-taught minds.
By years of toil and eager thirst,
That from your dunes that they be first
To launch a plane by man’s own might
And ride your winds in motored flight.
From Kitty Hawk the Wrights did rise
To throttle time…..Explore the skies.
Bring nations from a distant berth
With hopes of Peace upon the earth,
That by their flight this Hallowed Date
May ground forever War and Hate
And man will strive as they once stood
To bring the World to Brotherhood.
This poem appeared on the program for the 61st anniversary of the first flight held at the Wright Brothers National Memorial on Thursday December 17, 1964.
Howerton Gowen of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, wrote it. Mr. Gowen owned an oil and chemical business for many years.
Mr. Thomas E. Myrick of Roanoke Rapids brought the poem to my attention.
The Kill Devil Memorial Hills Association, The National Park Service, The National Aeronautic Association and The Air Force Association sponsored the event in 1964.
The Kill Devil Hills Association was organized formally in 1927 to preserve and honor the original site of the Wright brothers’ flights of December 17, 1903.
In 1966, the association was rekindled as the First Flight Society. The society supports the Park Service including the annual ceremony honoring the Wright brothers held at the park on December 17th.