EAGLE RIVER - The 51st annual World Championship Snowmobile Derby gets underway later this week. Racing in Eagle River runs Thursday through Sunday.
For many years, the Torch Light Parade was a unique snowmobile ride started in downtown Eagle River. The riders would travel to the Eagle River Sports Arena.
After a 30 year absence, it's back. The tour is put on by the Sno-Eagles snowmobile club and the Eagle River Lions club.
Officially it's not part of the Derby.
However, it's a great tradition from the weekend making a return.
As the snowmobiles changed, they damaged city streets. That's why it was stopped in the mid 80s.
The trail was lit with torches or candles years ago.
Now they'll have glow sticks. The riders will have them too. Folks are excited to have the ride back.
"As the snowmobiles got more modern, we just couldn't get the approval to do it," Richard Decker - the Marketing Director at Eagle River Derby Track explains. "Now you can snowmobile in downtown Eagle River. Not on all of the streets but some of them. It made a really big difference. I think it will be interesting for the public to watch and anyone who wants to join in and ride."
"Years ago we (lit the trail) with candles," Jim Ayers of the Sno-Eagles and Lions club adds. "That was a problem keeping them lit. Now we have some new products. Hopefully it will make it really nice. If it does, we'll do it again next year I think."
The Torch Light Parade begins at 6pm on Saturday. The public is invited to take part in the ride. It starts across from Eagle River Derby track.
On this Memoria Day, we take you on the Honor Flight to Washington D.C. with a Vietnam veteran from Arbor Vitae.
A Tripoli resident found a plaque in his home that turned out to be for a veteran of World War I and World War II. We'll show you what the American Legion in Tomahawk did with the plaque to honor the veteran.
And a three thousand acre wildlife area about 10 miles west of Rhinelander is managed by the DNR, but now it's getting help to care for the land from a local sportsmen group. We'll show you how the Wisconsin River Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society is helping to preserve the area.
We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nearly 60,000 names line the walls of the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
According to the U.S. Department of Defense, more than eight million men and women served in the Vietnam-Era conflicts in the 1960s and early 1970s. More than seven million veterans who served in the Vietnam War are alive today.
Last week more than 80 Vietnam-era veterans from north-central Wisconsin boarded the 28th Never Forgotten Honor Flight.
To them, those 60,000 names are personal.
"I've lost some good friends," said Gerald Streeter, a Vietnam veteran from Arbor Vitae. "Great people."
Streeter served in the Marine Corps in the early 1960s, before the Vietnam conflict began to ramp up. Streeter was also sent to Panama after the Bay of Pigs Invasion and then was sent to a Pacific island for nuclear tests. He recalls hearing of two people who died in helicopter crashes.
"We thought that was terrible that two people were already killed because of Vietnam," Streeter said. "And a short time later another one went missing. One was my drill instructor in boot camp."
Sometimes it can be hard for veterans to find the name of their fallen friends on the wall.
"You called them by last name or the rank and last name, but you never used first names," Streeter said. "So trying to locate on this wall the ones that I was aquainted with I can't find. I've tried several times with the books and manuals they have, the directories. Just unable to find them."
Streeter says his experiences don't measure up to what his younger brother endured. John Streeter, who was also on the Flight, joined the Marine Corps and went to Vietnam in 1965, according to his brother.
"He saw the worst, did the worst," Streeter said. "He was a door gunner on medivac helicopters. He's my hero."
If you want more information about the Never Forgotten Honor Flight, the link to its website is at the bottom of this page.
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