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Escanaba envy of the U.P. for Honor Flight support

EDITOR:

I just wanted to take a moment and share with your readers something that was such a positive experience. In September, I was honored and privileged to be chosen as a guardian for a veteran traveling on Honor Flight Mission 17 to Washington DC. The joy and appreciation displayed by these deserving men was profound. These men were treated with awe and respect in our travels throughout our capitol and in the airports.

Which brings me to my point. Escanaba, you should be the envy of the U.P. for the degree to which you honor these men and support these flights. To see a parade given them in the pre-dawn hours of the morning was incredible. Hats off to all the public safety personnel, motorcyclists and more who participated. Flags were flying, businesses honored them on their marquees. people waved to them along the route, and school children performed prior to take off. It was incredibly moving. And then, the reception that awaited them on their return was too precious for words. If you could only have heard the whispers on the bus in the morning, such as “well this is a parade we never got’ or ‘the welcome home we never got’, you would be humbled. I tried to keep in mind that not only did Vietnam veterans not always return to a warm welcome, but many veterans, whether wartime or peacetime, quietly came home to resume their lives with little to no fanfare. So please, please continue to support this worthy effort.

No one deserves our thanks and praise more than a veteran. Honoring them rises above politics or whether or not you support war. These veterans have either volunteered to serve and protect, or were required to do so due to the draft. Many have had their lives forever changed, in ways that some of us could never know or comprehend.

The UP Honor Flight organization is amazing in the work they do. This is a herculean effort pulled off by all volunteers, but the attention to detail is mind-blowing. If you know a veteran, please encourage them to sign up for a flight. Volunteer to be a guardian, it is an experience you will never forget. If you can, financially support the cause or find ways to fund raise in your community. But most of all, if nothing else, just fly a flag, wave, or simply thank a veteran.

Marie St. Julian

Manistique