Crowds Flock to National Mall for Blue Angels and Thunderbirds Flyover

May 3, 2020 Updated: May 3, 2020

Scores of people descended upon the National Mall on May 2 as the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels and the Air Force’s Thunderbirds performed a flyover to honor first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nation’s capital is under a stay-at-home order to slow down the spread of the virus but that didn’t stop crowds from gathering between the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument.

Both the Blue Angels and the District of Columbia’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Office requested that residents refrain from leaving their homes to see the flyover.

“Residents in DC will be able to see the flyover from the safety of their home & should maintain all social distancing guidelines during this flyover,” the emergency management office tweeted. “Please refrain from traveling to landmarks, the National Mall, hospitals & gathering in lg. groups to view flyovers.”

National Mall in Washington
People wearing protective masks walk a corgi on the National Mall in Washington, on May 2, 2020. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)

Many people were practicing social distancing and some wore masks but sidewalks around the mall were crowded.

People stood mostly distant from each other from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol building and groups were more spread in some areas.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over the National Mal
The U.S. Navy Blue Angels fly over the National Mall in Washington, on May 2, 2020. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds conducted formation flights over Washington, Baltimore and Atlanta on Saturday.

They are the U.S. military’s flight demonstration squadrons, and this is the second joint flyover mission being conducted to salute the health care workers, first responders, military and other essential workers risking their lives during this pandemic.

The first joint flight was conducted on Tuesday across New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The joint operation is part of a series of multi-city flyovers being conducted over the next two weeks.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report