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COVID-19 pandemic forces delay of Honor Flight

The coronavirus pandemic has altered all of our lives, seemingly putting many aspects of life on hold indefinitely. This has now come to include Mission XVIII of the Upper Peninsula Honor Flight.

The flight was originally slated for May 20. However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to it being rescheduled for Wednesday.

But with the pandemic continuing, Mission XVIII was rescheduled again.

The 18th U.P. Honor Flight is set to take place on May 5, with the same 83 veterans hoping to be clear for takeoff from Delta County Airport when the time rolls around.

“We had a full flight schedule for May (2020), and then that was canceled,” said U.P. Honor Flight president Scott Knauf. “Those veterans were scheduled to go this Wednesday, and now that’s canceled. That flight will be carried over to next May and includes two World War II vets. One is currently 100 years old, and the other is 97 years old.”

Knauf said nine Korean War veterans are also slated to take part in the flight, while the remaining 72 veterans scheduled to take the flight served in the Vietnam War.

Beyond May 5, the next scheduled Honor Flight missions will be May 26 and Sept. 22, but in order for those flights to become a reality, the novel coronavirus situation will need to be under control.

Asked what it would take to fly next year, Knauf said health and safety needs to be assured for everyone involved.

“As long as it’s safe for our veterans,” he said.

We are glad to see the organizers are being proactive in their efforts to protect some of our most at-risk residents. They went out of their way to protect us, we owe the same to them.

For those who have questions or want to learn more about the U.P. Honor Flight, Knauf can be reached at 906-280-2871. Information and flight applications can also be viewed at www.uphonorflight.org.

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