Large crowd turns out to watch flyover saluting essential workers in Grand Marais Wednesday
May 12, 2020 09:15AM
Photo: National Guard
From Boreal Community Media - May 13, 2020
Community members turned out to show their support for essential workers during the COVID19 pandemic in Grand Marais on Wednesday morning by watching the Minnesota National Guard and Air Force Reserve flyover. Staff from North Shore Health and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic took a quick break from their duties to step outside to watch the flyover. Cars lined the streets and filled the nearby parking lots to observe the flyover while observing social distances.
Major Gen. Jon Jensen, the Adjutant General of the Minnesota National Guard said, “We chose several hospitals as flyover points, but it is truly only a symbolic gesture, as the intent isn’t to honor only those facilities, but all the essential workers statewide. Whether you are a medical provider or a meat packing employee; a teacher or gas station attendant; an emergency responder or a garbage collector, your work and the care you provide have kept our state safe and functioning. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice.”
The flights scheduled for Wednesday were the second and likely final part of a statewide effort to recognize health care workers, emergency responders, food industry and other essential workers throughout the state that have done their part to keep the state functioning during the stay at home order.
The aircraft flying these missions were combinations of F-16 Fighting Falcon and C-130 Hercules aircraft from the Minnesota National Guard’s 148th Fighter Wing out of Duluth, and the 133rd Airlift Wing out of Saint Paul, as well as from the Air Force Reserve’s 934th Airlift Wing.
“Our crews must fly regularly to maintain their proficiency,” said Col. James Cleet, 133rd Airlift Wing Commander, “This is an outstanding way to both train our aircrew and to recognize those in our community that are on the frontline working hard for the citizens of Minnesota.”
All across Minnesota, the flight path for Wednesday reached following communities: Aitken, Albert Lea, Alexandria, Baudette, Bemidji, Big Fork, Blue Earth, Burnsville, Cloquet, Cook, Crosby, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Edina, Ely, Fergus Falls, Grand Marais, Grand Rapids, Hermantown, Hibbing, International Falls, Jackson, Luverne, Mankato, Marshall, Moorhead, New Prague, New Ulm, Northfield, Redwood Falls, Rochester, Roseau, Shakopee, Silver Bay, Thief River Falls, Two Harbors, Virginia, and Worthington in Minnesota and Ashland, Bayfield, Eagle River Florence, and Superior in Wisconsin, and Crystal Falls, Ironwood, and Ontonagon in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Flyovers are set to fly near local medical facilities in each community, if possible.
“Our Guardsmen live and work in these cities. The Minnesota National Guard has units and facilities in 58 communities throughout the state. They have always supported us, this is a small way we can show that we support them too,” said Col. Christopher Blomquist, 148th Fighter Wing Commander. “Thank you for your service.”
A glimpse of the fly-over in Grand Marais