5th Annual “Sailor Salute” Returns
MUSKEGON, Mich., August 5th, 2021
On Friday, September 17th, Mona Shores will take on Zeeland West, their opponent for the first-ever Sailor Salute in 2016.
Throughout its history, the Mona Shores football program has dedicated an evening to bring awareness to our military, police, fire, and emergency responders as a way of giving back. In 2016, the event drew national attention, and the 2017 event was recognized by Armed Forces Thanksgiving by receiving the “Thanksgiving in Action” award for recognizing our military (past, present, and future) while providing an invaluable educational opportunity for our students. Since then, the event has continued to grow.
The evening serves three purposes and will have a great deal of activity going on for everyone.
First, the event is meant to HONOR those who serve or have served our country in the military, in our police and fire departments, or as an emergency responder.
Second, the event is meant to EDUCATE our community on issues and needs that exist within these areas of service and remind those in attendance of the freedoms we enjoy.
Finally, the event is meant to CONNECT all of these branches of service with our community. As part of our great and proud Muskegon community, Mona Shores wants to celebrate such service.
Mona Shores Public Schools will raise money throughout the week for VFW post 3195.
Lots of activities will be part of the “Sailor Salute”:
Pending approval, a Blackhawk helicopter provided by the Army and Army National Guard will land at Sailor Stadium Friday afternoon and take off at halftime.
Interactive displays from police, fire, and various military branches will be available to the public beginning at 5:00 pm. This year, these displays will be in the stadium plaza as well as just outside the stadium gate. Fans of all ages can enjoy these displays throughout the night.
Mona Shores High School will host a VIP food tent for veterans and first responders complete with VIP parking and, if needed, a golf cart escort to the tent.
The football game will be broadcast live on 107.9 WMUS and streamed live by the Sailor Nation Sports Network on their YouTube page as well as their Facebook page.
Around 6:15 pm, hundreds of members of various motorcycle groups who support veterans will parade through the static display area.
During pre-game, a “Community Mass Choir” will join the Mona Shores Marching Band to sing “America the Beautiful” and the “Star Spangled Banner.” This choir will be a compilation of community members, students and alumni from Mona Shores High School. Those wishing to be part of the choir should register on the Sailor Salute Facebook Event page.
There will be a POW/MIA remembrance ceremony at 6:50 pm that includes a moment of silence and the playing of “Taps.”
At 6:58 PM, The Hooligan Flight Team will make a number of passes over Sailor Stadium in conjunction with the national anthem.
At 7:00 pm the football game between Mona Shores and Zeeland West will commence. It’s a huge OK Green matchup as both programs have won multiple state championships. While Mona Shores is the defending conference champion, Zeeland West won the 2016 Sailor Salute game, 32-28.
Game tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students. All current and former military, police, fire, and emergency responders are granted free admission if they are in uniform or have representative dress of servitude.
Between the First and Second Quarter, a number of enlistees will participate in the Oath of Enlistment Ceremony in the north end zone. There will also be a “minute of change” to raise funds for local veterans organizations. Between the Third and Fourth Quarter, cheerleaders from both Zeeland West and Mona Shores will lead the stadium in knocking out 22 pushups in observance of the “22Kill.com Pushup Challenge” – an activity that brings awareness to the fact that 22 veterans commit suicide daily.
Members of the public – young, old, whether or not they are affiliated with Mona Shores or Zeeland West – are welcome to take part in all activities. All information can be found on the Mona Shores Athletics Facebook Page.
For more information please view the event on the Mona Shores Athletics Facebook page or contact MSHS Director of Athletics Todd Conrad (firstname.lastname@example.org), 231-332-8312.