OPENING CEREMONY

AUGUST 19th, 2023

Downtown Flint MI

125 E Kearsley St, Flint, MI 48502

opening ceremony 2

The Opening Ceremony will begin promptly at 10:00 AM on Saturday with a rousing salute to our veterans and active duty personnel. A Color Guard accompanied by some of America’s finest will march from the south on Saginaw Street. At the same time, a procession of flags and military personnel will proceed to the north of the Statue Plaza in the center of downtown Flint where the two groups will converge.

This special ceremony will honor the men and women of the armed forces for their service and sacrifice to our country. BttB’s honors those who protect and defend the freedoms we hold dear, past and present, those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, and those who continue to answer the call. The program will include an Invocation, an inspiring performance of our National Anthem by a special guest.  Special “flyovers” by amazing military aircraft will make its’ way along Saginaw Street high above.

Taking to the stage in addition to Amber Taylor Executive Director of Back to the Bricks, will be Grand Marshal for the 19th Annual festivities Victor E. George, Mayor Sheldon Neeley and guests. Commemorative T-shirts will be given to our veterans, courtesy of Huntington Bank while supplies last. 

Amber Taylor Executive Director of Back to the Bricks® and Mayor of Flint Sheldon Neeley will provide closing remarks.

Military Flyover

Each year Back to the Bricks is honored to have a special display and tribute that incudes a 4 plane Military Flyover. The timing of our entire event is critical and in the very capable hands of long time Board of Director, Jerry Preston. Jerry has a special Radio and communicates through the entire ceremony with the pilots above. Our Pilots are dedicated to honoring all that have served, and they are delighted to be apart of this year’s festivities again. 

Let's learn more about our pilots...

Pilot Bruce Koch from Goodrich Michigan

1942 Convair SNV-1 based at Flint Bishop International Airport. 

His Aircraft was a WWII US Navy Trainer, which served as an instrument, formation, aerobatic and navigation trainer at NAS Pensacola and NAS Corpus Christi, was sold as surplus in 1946 for $450, and was used as a tanker for an AG spray company in California, restored to static display in 1984, brought to Michigan in 1994 and returned to flight. This is one of only 2 of type still flying. His wife Cheryl and Bruce maintain this aircraft as a tribute to the Greatest Generation for their sacrifices and efforts during WWII. Bruce was a search and rescue pilot for USAF Aux. for 14 years.

Pilot David Folk from Kalamazoo Michigan

1944 North American SNJ-5

Was used as an advanced trainer, it did everything the SNV did plus aerial gunnery training and carrier qualification. This aircraft was sold for civilian use in 1964 currently used strictly as a hobby and to fly in special events.

Pilot Ron Staley grew up in Montrose and now lives in Brighton.

1953 Beechcraft T-34A Mentor – Based at Livingston County Spencer J. Hardy Airport in Howell.

The T-34 Mentor is a single-engine, basic trainer aircraft designed and manufactured by Beechcraft Aircraft Company for the United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Navy (USN). It was derived from the Beechcraft Bonanza aircraft. About 2,300 T-34s were built between 1953 and 1959.  Ron’s plane was flown by the USAF only four years and then given to the US Air Force Academy as a club aircraft in 1957.   It was then surplused and in private collections since.  

Ron and his wife Linda have owned this airplane for 6 years and other warbirds for 20 years, flying them for memorial and tribute events throughout the year.   Ron career has been as a construction manager specializing in historic buildings across the country.  

Lou Feldvary from Smith Mtn. Lake, VA.

North American AT-6D. His aircraft after Korea, served in the Spanish Air Force & after it was decommissioned, it returned to the United States in 1972 as a privately owned “Warbird”.

After show season Lou takes his aircraft back to his home in Smith Mtn. Lake, VA. During Show Season, it is based out of Jackson Reynolds Airport in Jackson Michigan. 

This aircraft is primarily flown in veteran memorial flights. Pilot Lou Feldvary is a retired airline pilot with 37 years of Airline Service and 53 years as a Pilot. Lou loves getting out and flying his plane in honor of those who flew and served.

See the rest of the week of FUN here!

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