Mona Shores Hosts Sailor Salute Football Game

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) – Mona Shores High School hosted a special event during their football game against Zeeland West High School in honor of veterans and first responders.

Sailor Salute’s fifth game even included a pre-kickoff flyover. The event was canceled last year due to the pandemic.

Tim Lipan, the chairman of the planning committee, says the tribute gets bigger every year.

“What you see today is the culmination of five years of growth from this event with static displays of military branches, representatives of all kinds of police and fire,” Lipan said.

First responders, military personnel and veterans were recognized on the field before the game.

Sgt. Dan Hibler of the Norton Shores Police Department, who was also involved in the planning, said it was an honor to be recognized.

“It’s always heartwarming to feel the support of the community. We work in a large community here in Norton Shores and even all over here in Muskegon County and Ottawa County. We are all proud to serve in this area, ”said Hibler.

Motorcycles emblazoned with the American flag came to show their support, including Vietnam veteran Mike Holmes who served in the Navy and rode to raise awareness of prisoners of war and those still missing.

“My time in Vietnam, we didn’t get the recognition like we do now,” Holmes said.

The football players also showed their appreciation by thanking the winners on the way to the locker rooms before the match.

Organizers say the event was more than a tribute: it was a way to bring people together.

“One of the things we wanted to do was connect our community to these heroes,” Lipan said.

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