In a grave on a distant isle on the opposite side of this troubled world lies the mortal remains of Harvey Weir Cook, a distinguished Hoosier whose valor we assemble to honor. We who knew him so well feel certain that if he were here this evening his first act would be to renounce all claim to such recognition.
His spiritual self is here this evening, in our midst, to tell us that much remains to be fulfilled; to affirm that those who inherit the responsibilities of this world, as the generations arrive and depart, of necessity must fall heir to a continuing challenge.
As a youth Weir Cook learned that the full pleasure of living belongs to free men whose ideals, above all, the urge for material gain. As we review his life we observe a consummate devotion to that principle of behavior, a faith that abided with him throughout his days on this earth. In the business of living he ardently disapproved the theory of returning to society anything less than what he had received. This heritage we will convet.
In our sphere of local acquaintance we shall remember him as friendly to an extent that endeared him to all. Those who ventured to conflict a foreign system on the free country he worshiped found him otherwise. Yet he never reveled in any discussion of his deeds, nor did he seek to exploit himself on that basis. He preferred to regard aviation as the agency of peace, rather than the instrument of war. But when the instigators of conflict challenged the right of free Americans to guide their own destiny we found him back at the controls, fiercely defending what he conceived to be right- defending it to the death.
Our Sorrow with the personal loss is mitigated by the knowledge that Weir Cook repaid civilized society with generous dividends. His memory will illumine the skies like a beacon as pilgrims of the airways, lost in the shadows of night, find safety and refuge on the smooth runways of the airport which fittingly bears his name.
The Weir Cook Memorial Committee
At Col. Cooks Memorial dinner
March 28, 1944-Scottish Rite Cathedral, Indianapolis
General H. H. Arnold arranged for the guest speaker.
A list of invited guests included Orville Wright, Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles A. Lindbergh, and officials of General Motors, Curtiss-Wright, RCA, Lucas-Harold, Ford Motor Company, Bendix, Studebaker, Republic Aviation, Bell Aircraft etc.