Me and a friend were just talking about the raiders and the goblet this morning and wondering when the bottle would be opened at Wright Patterson AFB.
Instead, it will be Griffin’s turn to be honored at the reunion; a goblet with his name engraved on it will be turned upside down. The private ceremony will include only Raiders, the Raiders’ historian, Casey and two Air Force cadets, there will be a roll call of the names of all the Raiders. When Griffin’s name is called, Lt. Col. Richard Cole, at age 97 the oldest survivor, will give a report on Griffin, Casey said.
At the end of the reading of names, the white-gloved cadets will pour cognac into the goblets of the survivors, and they will drink their special toast: “To those who have gone.”
Besides Cole, a Dayton native who lives in Comfort, Texas, the other survivors are Lt. Col. Robert Hite of Nashville, Tenn.; Lt. Col. Edward Saylor of Puyallup, Wash., and Master Sgt. David Thatcher of Missoula, Mont.
Casey said Thursday that the Raiders have decided not to wait until there are two survivors to have the final toast. Instead, they plan to have a special gathering later this year to share what will be their final toast. He said because of the advancing ages of the remaining survivors, it was decided to allow all those still alive late this year to take part.
Dates and details will be announced later. For their toast, they will drink from a bottle of 1896 cognac, the year their commander Lt. Col. “Jimmy” Doolittle was born.