"The more people who love your children the better," the hero pilot tells PEOPLE
Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III is celebrating his daughter's wedding day!
On Saturday, the former pilot, 72, told PEOPLE what it meant to see his daughter Kelly wed her husband Jack Szarabajka on Nov. 11.
“Lorrie and I understand that like before your child is born, people try to tell you how joyous their wedding will be, but you really can’t comprehend that level of joy until you see your daughter’s face," Sullenberger says of himself and his wife Lorrie. "And the more people who love your children the better.”
Sullenberger initially shared the news of his daughter's special day with social media followers on Friday, when he posted a carousel of images and clips to Instagram and other platforms. "We were thrilled to see Kelly and Jack exchange their vows of marriage last Saturday," Sullenberger wrote.
"With a large group of family and friends, we celebrated long into the night," he added. "It was wonderful to see and feel their joy, and connect with old friends and make new ones."
"As Kelly said, 'There are few times in life when all the people you love are in the same room,' " Sullenberger concluded his post, quoting his daughter. "Welcome to the family, Jack! - Lorrie and Sully."
The first image in the Instagram carousel showed Sullenberger and Kelly slow dancing as she wore a sleek white gown. A second shot showed Kelly looking in a mirror alongside her mother, Lorrie.
Other photographs included were an image of Kelly walking down the aisle with her husband — who wore a white suit jacket and black bow tie — as well as a pic of Kelly holding her dad's hand.
An additional family photobooth moment also made the collection, as did a clip of Sullenberger dancing solo with a crowd around him to Flo Rida's "Low."
January 2024 will mark the 15th anniversary of what became known as the "Miracle on the Hudson," when Sullenberger landed U.S. Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River after the plane's engines were disabled when it hit a flock of geese.
All 155 passengers and crew on board survived the Jan. 15, 2009 incident.
Sullenberger and passengers reflected on the heroic decision when speaking with PEOPLE this past January. "I certainly remember it vividly," Sullenberger said. "It was a traumatic experience certainly for everyone in the airplane and for the families to go through something like that."
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The now-author and public speaker, who lives in Northern California, recently served as U.S. Ambassador to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and has also had the Carolinas Aviation Museum renamed in his honor as the Sullenberger Aviation Museum.
"We have become bonded," the former pilot said. "And so I think over the passing years I feel evermore gratitude that we were able to achieve such a good outcome and save every life."
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