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Pease Air Show

Pease Air Show

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Pease Air Show

PORTSMOUTH — More than 250 special needs children and their families watched fighter jets pull off amazing mid-air stunts at break neck speeds as pilots practiced for this weekend's Pease Air Show events.

It was the official kick-off to the weekend event, which planners expect more than 100,000 to attend. Children and families from several nonprofit rehabilitation organizations interacted with military personnel, jumped in bouncy houses, saw aircraft up close and watched what most will have to wait to see.

Lori Safford of Pelham went with her sons, Benjamin, 11, and Sam, 9, both of whom took part in the Make-A-Wish foundation because they have Duchenne muscular dystrophy. With Benjamin in a wheelchair, Safford said they probably would not have braved all the traffic and crowds had the event not been provided.

"It's just nice to be able to do fun things like this because we can't do a lot of things other kids can do," said Lori. "We spend a lot of time in physical therapy and doctors' offices. Ben is having surgery in a couple weeks, so these are the kinds of things that kind of make up for some of the harder things."

Sam and Benjamin were very impressed with the speed and sounds of the planes that seemed to buzz mere feet above the ground.

"It's fun," said Sam. "The planes are real cool.

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