DENISON, Texas (KTEN) — The City of Denison is getting ready to honor a local hero with a parade on Saturday morning.

Denison is where Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger was born, along with his passion for aviation.

“He just had a love of flying,” said Perrin Air Force Base Historical Museum president Laura Longmire.

Sullenberger, then a pilot for US Airways, became an American hero on January 15, 2009 after Flight 1549 became disabled shortly after takeoff from New York's LaGuardia airport.

“Both engines went out, and he safely landed that plane with all 155 people on it,” Longmire recalled.

Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger ditched US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009.

He landed the aircraft in New York’s Hudson River, and rescue crews got everyone on board to safety. It’s an act the people of Denison haven’t forgotten in the 14 years since.

“Fortunately, he’s coming to visit us and we’ve built an exhibit for him,” Longmire said.

By the time he graduated from Denison High School in 1969, Sullenberger was already well on his path to a career in aviation.

“He started flying when he was a teenager with a Mr. Cooke, who’s from the Denison-Sherman area,” Longmire said. “And he got his license when he was in high school.”

Famed aviator and Denison native Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger.

When he wasn’t training in the cockpit, Sully was doing his part in the high school band, which will be a part of Saturday's parade. 

“His former band director is going to be driving his classic car with Sully in it,” said Denison Main Street director Donna Dow.

This will be Sullenberger's second visit to Denison since that memorable day in 2009, and he’ll get to see a mural that was painted to commemorate his heroism in 2020.

“At 10:30, we’ll have the dedication of the mural at Heritage Park, just as the parade’s ending,” Dow said.

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