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Honor Flight is going to fly again

PLATTSBURGH – North Country Honor Flight will take to the skies Saturday for Flights 54 and 55 with a full contingent of veterans.

The flights departing from Plattsburgh International Airport will include three Cold War veterans, 26 Vietnam veterans and one from Desert Storm.

The two planes will fly to Washington, DC, where they will visit memorials dedicated to the wars in which American veterans served.

“It’s getting hot in DC, but we have cooling towels, umbrellas for the sun, plenty of water, an air-conditioned bus and we have a great medical team to watch these guys,” North Country said. Honor Flight director Barrie Finnegan said.

North County Honor Flight was founded in 2013 to bring veterans to Washington to see their memorials. Since then, 780 veterans have flown from Plattsburgh to the nation’s capital.

“Thunder in the Burgh,” a long train of local bikers will once again escort the Honor Flight buses from the opening ceremony in Veterans Park at the US Oval to the airport flight line.

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“They’re targeting 250 motorcycles for this trip,” Finnegan said.

The farewell ceremony starts promptly at 7:00 am.

HONOR RUN

At the end of the ceremony, seventh-grade students from Beekmantown Central School will begin the “Honor Run,” a road race that coincides with the motorcade to the airport.

“The Beekmantown seniors did this five years ago when they were in seventh grade and they will be here to help this year’s seventh graders put on this run,” Finnegan said.

“They all did a great job and it will be a great fundraiser for us.”

The race, which includes a 5K walk ($25) and a 1-mile walk ($20), is open to the public and runners can register online at https://runsignup.com/Race/NY/Plattsburgh/PenairNorthCountryHonorRun or sign up on the morning of the race. walk.

Runners are encouraged to wear patriotic attire and prizes will be awarded for the best dressed participants.

“These students sat at a desk and contacted every business on the North Country Chamber of Commerce list asking for support for this race,” Finnegan said.

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“That’s what people are willing to do for these veterans and it’s just amazing.”

FLIGHT SPONSORS, SUPPORT

Finnegan said flight controllers Gina Bond and Fred Woodward once again did an excellent job preparing the veterans for their flights.

Saturday’s flights are sponsored by Harmony Golf Club, which has raised about $25,000 through a tournament for Honor Flight.

“North Country Honor Flight would like to thank Harmony and Bruce McCormick for their much appreciated hard work and efforts in bringing it all together,” said Finnegan.

“We would like to thank Stevie Fuller and Kim Marsha, owners of Harmony, and Jason Fuller for supporting Fuller’s Excavating, as well as Mike Murray of Murray Electric for being the title sponsor of the tournament.”

Finnegan said they are always looking for more sponsors to help offset the cost of each flight, which is approximately $35,000.

“That’s a lot to cover the cost of an entire flight, so we’re looking for donations of about $12,000 each to help,” he said.

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“It can be difficult at times, but North Country people always seem to pull through and we are able to keep these flights going for these veterans.”

The next honorary flights are on August 31 and October 5.

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