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Honor Flight Maine grounds upcoming flights due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns

The organization said the decision to cancel trips in September and October was in the "best interest" of the veterans it serves.
Credit: NCM

PORTLAND, Maine — Honor Flight Maine has suspended its trips planned for September and October due to ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19.

After hours of discussion, the organization's chairperson Laurie Sidelinger said the board of directors decided it was in the "best interest" of the veterans to call off this year's flights. 

"As much as we regret having to make this difficult decision, the safety and well-being has always and always will be our priority for our veterans, guardians, and volunteers," Sidelinger told NEWS CENTER Maine in an e-mail Tuesday.

The nonprofit has flown Maine veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit the memorials honoring their service for years at no cost. 

Honor Flight first started suspending trips in March 2020 as the coronavirus gripped the nation. The last flight was in November 2019.

Sidelinger told NEWS CENTER protocols set forth by the national Honor Flight Network played a large role in the decision to suspend the upcoming trips.

The organization is hopeful Maine veterans will be able to take flight again come spring.

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