For anyone who is not familiar with this I would encourage you to become informed. Honor flights are happening all over the country but I want to hi-lite the most recent one from Wisconsin that happened this past Saturday. My father-in-law is a WWII Navy Seabees veteran and he was able to go on this honor flight. Along with 111 other veterans, he spent a day in Washington DC where they visited many of the WWII memorials and other sites related to WWII - honoring them and their fallen countrymen.
This trip is now part of the permanent memory he has of how a country can step up and recognize the sacrifice he and others made to see to it we have the freedoms we enjoy in the US today. In our day to day busy lives we need to take time once in a while to remember why we have such freedom and be always aware that we need to protect it and NEVER take it for granted.
About a dozen of our family members took time with thousands of others and waited at Mitchel field until close to Midnight (some of us were there from 6Pm) to give a standing ovation, shake hands, give hugs and cheer for these veterans as they returned from DC. The atmosphere was electric and I lack the words to express the level of pride we all felt as we welcomed our patriots home from their trip. To see the smiles of these veterans (all of whom are now at least 80 years old) was well worth the long wait. Families held hand made thank you signs, bands played, bag-pipes played, photos and video cameras were busy recording memories.
Last month my father - who is also a WWII veteran (Army Infantry) was able to go on the Honor flight from Arkansas where he now lives, and my family members who are down there describe the same type of pride as that group returned from their trip.
If you have a WWII veteran in your family and have not signed him or her up for one of the upcoming flights, I encourage you to do so. And be sure to be part of the welcome home festivities when they return, it is a great memory to have. What a fantastic way to thank them for their sacrifice. The flights are supported by donations and corporate sponsors so the veterans go at no cost, each veteran can have a companion (who pays their own way) to help with any special needs they may have during the trip. If you are looking for a worthwhile organization to support by volunteering or financially, I'd recommend you consider Stars & Stripes Honor Flights, your donation and time will be going to a great organization.
My eternal thanks to both my father and father-in-law for your parts in keeping our country free!!