July 28, 2013

Saranac High School students honor veterans

SARANAC — High school students surprised North Country Honor Flight veterans in May at the World War II monument in Washington, D.C.

They were members of the Freedom Club, an organization at Saranac Central School that honors veterans.

“It just so happened that we were lucky enough to go (to Washington) the same time as the Honor Flight, so we got to share that experience with them,” said Kaylee Couture, who was president and treasurer of the 36-member club this past school year. 

“It was an honor to see their faces and how they enjoyed it and appreciated it.”

The Honor Flight Network, with a local chapter in the North Country, is a nonprofit that takes veterans to Washington, D.C., to see the memorials that stand there in their honor. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill.

World War II veteran Robert Brooks was there, and he was overwhelmed with emotion when he saw that the students at the memorial were from the North Country.

“I think the young people that we have in this area, believe me, are really on top of everything. They really are.”


Before she graduated in June, Couture organized a dinner to honor local veterans. 

Her parents, Rick and Tonya Couture, her uncle Gary Hart, and her grandparents, Richard and Georgette Couture, helped get donations and prepared the meal, which was attended by about 150 veterans and members of their families.

“Tonight is just something, another memory that will stick with us for the rest of our lives,” Brooks said at the dinner.

“It’s just a very happy time,” said World War II veteran Merwin Cowles, who was also part of the first North Country Honor Flight.

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