On the 4th of July this year, the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point saw fireworks of a different kind! Just as the initial rockets fired from the flight deck of Yorktown, a young graduate of the University of Virginia bent down on one knee on the pier with the ship in the background and asked his college sweetheart if she would marry him! What else could she say with the bombs exploding in the air and the blasts echoing across the historic waters of Charleston Harbor!
The young gallant was John Thornton of Richmond, Virginia, a 2009 graduate of the University of Virginia and member of the Cavalier football team. His sweetheart (now fiancee) is Honour Alston, daughter of Cotten and Valerie Alston of Atlanta, Georgia. Honour is a 2010 graduate of the University of Virginia’s school of nursing. Below is the young couple in front of our AD Skyraider (reminiscence of The Bridges at Toko- Ri with William Holden and Grace Kelly, n’est pas).
John came up with his idea by scanning the internet and looking for the nation’s premier fireworks shows. He read an article on Patriots Points’s nationally recognized 4th of July fireworks display and engineered a stay on the beach in Charleston for his future in-laws and wife. His future father-in-law, Cotten Alston, served on a destroyer escort out of Pearl Harbor in the late 1960′s and was probably intrigued to be visiting the famous naval museum.
John arranged for the scene on the head of the pier looking down on the Yorktown with Public Safety officers at Patriots Point and as the “rockets burst in the air,” he dropped to one knee and asked Honour to marry him. (I wonder if he phrased it, “Would you honour me by becoming my wife?”) At any rate, it must have been an honourable proposal, because the attractive young couple are now planning their future marriage and life together. We hope that they have many years of a happy marriage together and will revisit the site of their engagement in the years to come!