The crowd was restless for Fat Albert.

It was just after 2 p.m. Wednesday and the sun was beating down on hundreds of people. Spider-man Popsicles melted in kids’ hands and dogs hid under bushes for the shade.

But with a sudden, thunder-like noise, the crowd perked up. Fat Albert came out of the corner of the sky and flew across the Severn River.

"Mommy," one boy said as Fat Albert made its ascent into the sky, "Are they going to heaven?"

The Blue Angels, the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, performed above the Severn River Wednesday afternoon.

The flight team consists of six Navy F/A-18 Hornets and a C-130 Hercules, known as the "Fat Albert." U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Katie Higgins, of Severna Park, piloted the Fat Albert. Last year Higgins was the first female pilot to fly with the Blue Angels.

While people watched all over Annapolis, hundreds gathered at the World War II Memorial to watch the Blue Angels flip, dive and accelerate in the air. The field in front of the memorial was packed with families and rainbow beach umbrellas.

But for the veterans in attendance, the Blue Angels are much more than entertainment — they represent the military’s strength.

Navy veteran Paul Jefferson, 72, camped out at the memorial with his family since 9:30 a.m to get a good view of the demonstration. Jefferson, who lives on the Eastern Shore,…

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