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Ennis Daily News

Lions Club honors Honor Flight

Tribute paid to local veterans, committee and President Wylie
The Ennis Noon Lions Club honored Honor Flight of Ellis County yesterday, both veterans and committee members, with special accolades going to the group’s president, Marylyn Wylie.
“Today we are here to honor the vets who have given us the right to be here today,” Mayor Russell Thomas said.
As a special thank you to Wylie, Thomas announced June 25, 2008, as Marylyn Wylie Day. Thomas said it was due to her “endless and tireless work” that she was receiving the recognition she never sought but truly deserves.
“Without her this trip wouldn’t have happened,” Lions Member Bill Lewis said. “She knows how to take charge and organize.”
Following the mayor’s proclamation, Wylie received the Melvin Jones Fellow Award from Lions Club International. The award is the foundation’s highest honor, representing humanitarian qualities of generosity, compassion and concern for the less fortunate. Wylie received a lapel pin and personalized wall plaque as a tribute to her commitment to helping others.
“Well, you’ve succeeded in making me cry,” Wylie said, adding that she didn’t want the occasion to focus on her. She commended the citizens of Ennis, whom she said did more for Honor Flight than any other city in Ellis County.
“Each and every one of you stepped up to the plate,” Wylie said. She also asked that her committee –– “my dream team,” she called them –– be congratulated. Several were present and they each stood for applause.
Honor Flight of Ellis County was the first Texas affiliate of the national Honor Air Network that flies World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to tour the monument erected to their sacrifices. The local Honor Flight campaign sent 36 veterans from Ennis, Waxahachie, Midlothian, Corsicana and other nearby cities to see the World War II Memorial on May 7-8. On their trip, veterans and their chaperones were received by Congressman Joe Barton and Senator John Kerry, serenaded by the Washington Symphony Orchestra, and enjoyed guided visits of other national monuments such as the Iwo Jima and Vietnam memorials. The group also witnessed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery and gained special clearance for a tour of the Pentagon.
To pay each veteran’s way on the trip money was raised through donations from Ennis citizens, schools and banks, as well as through several benefit events, from a banquet to a fish fry. No Honor Flight funds paid for tickets for the 23 chaperones/guardians who joined the vets; all guardians were responsible for their own expenses.
“I love each and every one of you guys,” Wylie said to the veterans present at the Lions Club meeting. “After the trip was over, I had separation anxiety.”
Wylie added she wished to pass on all the honors she received to them, but they insisted she deserved the praise.
As a special entertainment, Honor Flight committee members Carol Spellman, Retha Bigham and Heather Laws portrayed the World War II singing trio the Andrews Sisters, performing the 1944 hit “Sentimental Journey,” which was chosen as the Honor Flight theme song. They were accompanied at the piano by entertainment chair Robert Brazier.
The Ennis Noon Lions Club meets Wednesday at noon at the Ennis Country Club.

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Posted by on Jun 26 2008. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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