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MGS Delegates Write Honor Flight Letters

By: Sally Green


Throughout the entire week at Girls State, it is safe to say that things have been a bit crazy. From late-night meetings to ties in our General Election, it can seem like complete chaos. Yet, during delegates’ time here, there has been one constant: patriotism. The love for country permeates every aspect of Missouri Girls State. Every single morning and evening, delegates proudly look upon the American flag and reflect upon what it means to them. For most, it is the ultimate sacrifice made by our veterans. Honoring veterans is the American Legion Auxiliary’s number one goal. This week, delegates were able to assist them with this goal by writing Honor Flight letters. According to the program’s official website, Honor Flight is “a mission of honoring our nation’s veterans by bringing them to Washington, DC to visit the memorials and monuments dedicated to their service and sacrifice.” It was initially created to remember WWII veterans, who were dying at alarming rates. Today, more than 240,000 veterans have been able to experience this wonderful program with their fellow service members. One of the most cherished parts of the program is the distribution of letters. On their flight back from Washington, DC, veterans are given letters thanking them for their service. The letters can be from family and friends, or strangers who want to acknowledge their sacrifice. Missouri Girls State delegates were given the chance to write their own Honor Flight letters. Maddy Harvey from Benton City said, “I am excited to write Honor Flight letters because it makes me feel good knowing that I let our veterans know how much they are appreciated and loved for all of the things they do for our country.” Baileigh Morris of Pershing City, who currently works with veterans in her hometown said, “I wanted to write the letters because my great-grandpa served in the military and passed away before I was old enough to understand and thank him for his service. I want to thank veterans while I have the chance to.” Matti Cook of Clark City had a personal connection to the program. She said, “I'm excited to write Honor Flight letters because I personally come from a military family, and my brother, who served in Afghanistan, talks about the Honor Flight program and how he would love to be a part of it. He's yet to be chosen, but I know how much of a big deal it is for him, and how much it means for all the other veterans chosen.” Naeche Ihenacho of Adreon City echoed her fellow delegates. “I am doing it because I want to show my appreciation to all those who served in the military, and to [assure] them that we see their dedication to their country.” One delegate from Pershing City, Hope Alexis, got to witness the positive effects of the Honor Flight program first hand. She said, “My papa got to go on an Honor Flight a few years back, and his favorite part was the letters he received! I want to give someone else the joy my papa received!” For girls who have yet to write letters, the deadline to complete them is tonight. Make sure to give them to your Parks and Recreation Director. As Missouri Girls Nation delegates take what they learned from Girls State to their communities, rest assured that they will have a newfound respect for our nation’s brave veterans.












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