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Missing man flyover honors fallen opioid victims

Arts in Action conference inspires activism for social change
By Fran Gonzalez | Nov 06, 2019
Photo by: Fran Gonzalez The missing man flyover honors victims of the opioid epidemic Nov. 2 over the Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

Belfast — A large group of people attending the Arts in Action conference stood on the Hutchinson Center balcony Saturday morning and looked skyward for a symbolic aerial maneuver. Four planes started the flyover and, as they reached the Hutchinson Center, one flew off from the rest, in a trail of white smoke.

The missing man flyover is an aerial salute typically performed for military personnel who have fallen. On Nov. 2 at 9 a.m., the maneuver was performed over Belfast to honor lives lost in Maine to the opioid addiction epidemic.

The flyover included local pilots using planes they had built themselves. Pilots David Valcik, Peter Webb, Jim Cloud and Jonathan Plengey all took part in the event.

The three-day Arts in Action conference brought together musicians, artists and speakers who inspired participants to use arts and activism, exploring local and statewide opportunities, in responding to Maine's opioid crisis.

The conference was sponsored by the Belfast Creative Coalition with the goal of using the tools of writing, visual arts, performance and music to engage participants in exploring ways to create social change through the arts.

A large crowd waits for the "missing man flyover" aerial maneuver Nov. 2 at the Hutchinson Center balcony. (Photo by: Fran Gonzalez)
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Comments (2)
Posted by: Susan Guthrie | Nov 11, 2019 11:52

No, not the same honor, this was not military. It was just a sign of compassion for our family, friends and neighbors caught unexpectley in the opioid trap, and a recognition of the suffering of those they left behind.

Posted by: Melvin J. Box | Nov 06, 2019 17:10

So let me understand this. We are now giving the same honors to those who have died of drug overdoses as those who have died serving their country? Really.

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