7th grader joins Honor Flight to remember uncle who served

CREATED Nov 5, 2013

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  • Image by Amanda Servi, Visual Image Photography

  • Image by Amanda Servi, Visual Image Photography

  • Image by Amanda Servi, Visual Image Photography

CEDARBURG - The Honor Flight program is teaching the next generation about the sacrifices made by those who have come before.

Makayla Wankowski is a seventh grader at Webster Middle School in Cedarburg. She won her way onto the Honor Flight by writing a eulogy for a soldier buried in Arlington. It won a contest sponsored by Honor Flight as the group tries to ensure future generations know the sacrifice of war.

Makayla had an easy time selecting a veteran to write about, but once she won, she realized she’d actually have to give the eulogy at Arlington. Her mom Dawn beamed with pride as they walked toward the flagpole where some soldiers had lowered a flag, moments before Makayla’s speech.

The seventh grader describes her great uncle as a leader and a risk-taker. She relayed a story of Maj. Michael Warholick Jr. carrying his dying best friend off a battlefield and the emotions he must have felt that day.

Makayla did all of her own interviews and research for her speech and it obviously left a mark on her. This simple contest had quickly turned into a life lesson this seventh grader wouldn’t soon forget.

Major Warholick’s son Michael was in the crowd crying happy tears. He’d come from Virginia to hear the eulogy - another humble veteran honored by a thankful generation.