Grand Forks Air Force Base North Dakota

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest and so we only traveled about 120 miles from Fergus Falls to Grand Forks. We again took local roads to make the trip which is more time consuming than the interstate but takes us through the heart of small towns along the way. Unfortunately from a photogenic perspective we are still in farm country – wide open spaces with lots of corn just starting to show. Some small towns along the way do make you smile

One wonders what they were thinking…

Many of the small towns along the way have a population numbering in the tens not hundreds. Not the case with Grand Forks, a beautiful city. East Grand Forks lies in Minnesota while Grand Forks is in N. Dakota. With a population of almost 60,000 it is the third largest city in ND.

Across the river into N. Dakota and Grand Forks

¬†Grand Forks is large enough to have a significant downtown with a large Cabela’s right on Main Street. The moose statue caught our eye as we passed by. The University of N. Dakota is based here and Amazon has a call center here. The North Dakota Mill and elevator is the largest flour mill in the US. There are lovely parks along the river and an abundance of small, local shops.

Just to the west of Grand Forks is the Air Force base, our home for tonight. As retired military we are allowed on base and permitted to use a campground on post.

A KC135 tanker at the entrance to the base.

The government has decided to base the aircraft that used to fly out of here elsewhere. It is sad for this old soldier to see an airbase with no aircraft. The base is a lovely spot but it doesn’t feel right without a flying mission and it seems almost deserted. During our short stay we saw few people and much of the base feels “empty”.

On this Memorial Day weekend, as we rest in the security of an Air Force base, we remember those who don’t have the security we enjoy and who have taken an oath to protect and defend this great nation. We especially remember those who sacrificed all for our freedom, past and present. Let us not focus on what divides us on this Memorial Day but rather unite in support of those who defend us every day, both at home and abroad.

Shawn