ESCANABA — For the first time ever in Delta County an airport hangar was renamed.
The Delta County Airport now has a hangar named after the founder of the U.P. Honor Flight chairman and founder. The hanger is now named, the Van Rooy. A ceremony was held today to honor the woman and her husband who have put so much into making the Upper Peninsula Honor flight program possible for veterans in the U.P. The Van Rooy’s are retiring from their duties but the program will continue to fly high. After the dedication they toured the inside of the hangar and then went inside the terminal to finish celebrating.
“I was very honored and touched, I was surprised, I love the sign. I love that it is red, white and blue because that represent the honor flight and the veterans that we are here to honor, “said Barb Van Rooy. Her husband Lee adds, “It was an unbelievable event. I was out of town when I heard the news and said “you have got to be kidding me” I just couldn’t believe it could be true but it is, so thanks to the people that made it happen.”
The U.P. honor flight program originated serving World War Two veterans. To date they have had nine flights out of Escanaba, sending approximately 800 veterans to be honored at the VA Memorial in Washington D.C.
“It was like a no brainer, this was something we felt we needed to do. For years to come there is always going to be a story as to why this got named the Van Rooy and it is a great story to tell. It gives this community pride and honor to be able to do this,” said Airport Manager, Kelly Smith.
Along with honoring World War II Veterans, the U.P. Honor Flight also serves Korean War Veterans and will be adding Vietnam Veterans to the program.