Updated: 05/08/2014 10:42 PM
Created: 05/08/2014 4:40 PM WDIO.com
Folks lined the piers in the Duluth shipping canal, to watch the Hon. James L. Oberstar sail into the Twin Ports on Thursday. At 9:30am, the boat sounded the Interlake Fleet Salute as it approached the Aerial Lift Bridge. The bridge, as custom dictates, answered back with the same salute.
It's the first time the Interlake Steamship vessel has been back to the area since the passing of Oberstar. The former Congressman died Saturday, May 3rd.
"We are here to honor him, and how much he's done for northern Minnesota," said Linda Forsberg.
Her husband Jerold agreed. "He was a man of integrity. With all that can go on in Washington, we always had pride that he was not involved in that nonsense. He was helping our area," he said.
The man at the helm of the Oberstar is Captain Steve Hughes. He's from Duluth, which makes this voyage even more special.
"To be here on the day that we're saying goodbye to him, and in some small way be able to pay tribute to him, that was nice to be able to do that," Hughes told us from on-board the Oberstar. The funeral for Oberstar took place Thursday morning.
"I'd never done the Interlake Salute before, in 17 years with the company, so that was special too," Hughes added."We're used to seeing people line the pier. But this time, was more significant."
Some of the people who were there, had tears in their eyes as the boat passed by. It was named for Oberstar back in 2011.
The boat is heading to Burns Harbor, Indiana. It was being loaded Thursday afternoon with 28,000 tons of iron ore pellets.
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