MARQUETTE - The fourth mission of Upper Peninsula Honor Flight is scheduled to depart from Delta County Airport in Escanaba early Wednesday morning - and the public will have the chance to see a part of what these veterans are doing as it happens.
U.P. Honor Flight brings World War II veterans - this time 76 - to the memorial in their honor in Washington, D.C., as well as other landmarks in the nation's capital, at no cost to the veterans.
This mission includes something that's not been done before in the previous three Honor Flight trips involving U.P. veterans.
World War II veterans participating in the third Upper Peninsula Honor Flight line up for a group photo during a visit to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sept. 27 of last year. The fourth edition of U.P. Honor Flight is set to fly out of Delta County Airport in Escanaba Wednesday morning. (Journal file photo by Renee Prusi)
"We get excited for every flight, but this flight has a few new surprises for the veterans so our excitement is enhanced," said Barb Van Rooy, one of U.P. Honor Flight's organizers. "The Air Force Band is performing a private concert to thank our veterans for their service. It will be webcast for the public to watch."
The concert by the Air Force Band will be held at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in southeastern Washington, D.C. as the World War II veterans finish their day visiting the nation's capital. The concert the veterans are attending will be streamed through www.usafband.af.mil so people around the world can watch the concert on the Internet.
Viewing sites for those who want to watch the concert with others will be available at 3:45 p.m. EDT Wednesday - with doors opening at 3:30 p.m. - at Peter White Public Library in Marquette; Besse Center at Bay College in Escanaba; and Fornetti Hall at Bay College West in Iron Mountain.
The three previous U.P. Honor Flights have taken a total of 237 WWII veterans to Washington for this one-day journey to some of America's most important landmark.
In Honor Flight, each veteran making the trip is assigned a guardian to assist him or her in any way needed throughout the day. These guardians pay their own way.
The plane carrying the U.P. Honor Flight group will leave Escanaba at about 7:30 a.m. Wednesday and return at approximately 8 that night. The public is encouraged to be at the airport to welcome these heroes home.
"We are always excited for the Welcome Home and encourage everyone to come and be part of it.
Another honor flight, which would be the fifth from the Upper Peninsula, is being planned for autumn, but details are not yet set.
For more information on the program, visit upperpeninsulahonorflight.org.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253.