Minot Air Force Base a seasoned Thanksgiving host

As many as 200 area senior citizens will have a happier Thanksgiving this year because of the men and women at Minot Air Force Base.

Perhaps some of their parents were treated to a Thanksgiving meal in previous years; the traditional dinner at the base is that long in the tooth.

Now in its 48th year, the base’s annual Thanksgiving Day program, designated “Day of Love,” was started in 1970 when then commander of the 91st Strategic Missile Wing, Col. Grover C. Graves Jr., contacted Claude “Bud” Ebert, the chief of Recreation Services at the time and tasked Ebert with planning the dinner.

What a great and honorable tradition started by Graves and Ebert so many years ago. Hundreds of seniors and the hundreds of airmen who hosted them over the years – many of them away from home on a holiday themselves – were surely thankful at the time.

As for this year’s dinner, we reported earlier that today is the deadline for seniors to sign up. Those who would like to attend the event have until 5 p.m. to sign up at the Minot Commission on Aging office in the Parker Senior Center in Minot by calling 852-0561.

As of last Thursday noon, about 125 senior citizens had made reservations for the event. The maximum number for attendance is 200 senior citizens.

Buses will pick up senior citizens on Thanksgiving from the Parker Senior Center in downtown Minot at 10:15 a.m. and leave for the base at 10:30 a.m. While at the base senior citizens can enjoy a meal and entertainment before returning to the senior center between 1:30 and 2 p.m.

Hey, you can’t beat that for hospitality. Thanks Minot Air Force Base members for reaching out to area seniors for a Day of Love.

There are other special events that form a bond between military members and people “downtown,” such as Northern Neighbors Day, the annual game feed put on by the Chamber of Commerce, Military Appreciation Day at the State Fair and Tops in Blue. Yes, together we have formed a special and rewarding relationship and continue to work on it.

Today we can be very thankful that Minot and Minot AFB have that friendship, formed through people of vision, such as Grover Graves.