Home Page     More News
Fly-in Commemorates September 11th
IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP - Early morning rain and threatening weather hampered the Annual Fly-In this past Saturday. However, as the day progressed the weather improved and so did the afternoon attendance.

This year’s event at the Gogebic – Iron County Airport took on added significance. Saturday was the official opening of the Airport and the ribbon cutting ceremony began early in the morning.
The morning event included a visit and a speech by Ann Jousma-Miller, the Governor’s representative in the Upper Peninsula. Jousma-Miller spoke to the fact that the terminal was the culmination of a collaborative effort by the Federal, State and Local units of government.  The terminal is the continuing effort to progressing in the face of diminishing population.  Of special interest on this 11th Day of September, was that Governor Granholm was the first governor to order that flags to be flown at half-staff, honor our fallen service men and women in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There was also a speech by Duane DuRay, the airports manager. Duane gave a brief history of the airport that dated back to 1938 when the first commercial flight landed. Although the small building on the site was not officially the terminal at that time it served as passenger waiting room, debarkation gate and luggage area.  Counting that small building the new $1,000,000 terminal building is only the third terminal in the airports long history.
The ceremony was presided over by Joe Bonovetz, County Commissioner and Chairman of the Airport Board.  Reverend Todd Winkler said the benediction and Legionnaire Bob Canon sang the national Anthem.  On this day, Patriots Day, the flag was raised to the top of its staff and then lowered to half-mast. The State flags of Michigan and Wisconsin were already placed at half-staff flanking the American Flag. The color guard for the morning was made up of members of many law-enforcement officers, firefighters and veteran groups.  Representation came from Watersmeet to Kimball and Mercer.
The same group would again gather in the afternoon in a Commemorative-Remembrance Ceremony at the hanger area. The ladder trucks from Hurley and Ironwood were raised to hold a very large American Flag. Again Joe Bonovetz served as the master of ceremonies.  Again Reverend Winkler said the prayers and Bob Canon sang several songs.
Brian Dary read a speech pertaining to the history and effect of 9-11.
During the course of the day the Fly-in took on its usual flavor. The morning began with a pancake breakfast.

There were several classic cars that showed up for the car show, however, poor early morning weather did hold down the number of classic cars traveling to the event.
Once again the music for the day was provided by Mike Keating. Mike is a wonderful entertainer and his music that transcends age groups is always enjoyed by all.
There were several planes on display both inside and outside the hanger, including a bi-plane built in 1943. I took special notice of that one as that was the same year that I was built! Pictured above Cessna 210N at Hanger area.
pictured above - corporate plane owned by Mead & Hunt, the project engineers for the new terminal.
There were crafters on hand and being contained the hanger the weather had little effect on its day. There were a variety of items for sale; from fishing lures to Avon Products.
There were amusements and games for kids of all ages including a Bungee Jumping.
above - Wakefield Fire Chief Mike Yon and his two daughters, Ally, and Annalisa. Wakefield firefighters were joined by other firefighters from two counties
Something new added to the amusements was a train ride. It was a big success, enjoyed by kids and adults alike. The train ride was owned and operated by Great Lakes Climbing and the free ride was sponsored by the Airport.
Raffle drawings took place all day long, as gifts were supplied by 40 donors.

Members of the Airport board and airport employees volunteered to run the day’s activities. Their efforts made the events of the day enjoyable for all those who attended the 5th annual Fly-in.
above - James R. Mildren, Director of the Gogebic County Transit. Jim provided free shuttle service from the hanger area to the new terminal building Saturday afternoon.

Terminal Opening Ceremony Photo Gallery


9-11 Ceremony Photo Gallery


Fly - In Photo Gallery


Click pictures for larger view