A little over a month ago, something different happened on the way home from one of my occasional trips to Washington, DC. Prior to calling Group A to board, a large group of older gentlemen in matching yellow shirts began congregating in the pre-boarding area and eventually boarded the plane.
It turns out that I was on a plane with a group of World War II veterans going home after visiting their memorial courtesy of Franklin County Honor Flight, a not for profit group dedicated to making sure the remaining WWII veterans in the Saint Louis area who are willing and able to visit the World War II Memorial are able to do so at no cost to them.
As I boarded the plane and headed to the back passing row after row of veterans, I could tell that they had experienced a wonderful day. You can see the pictures from that day on the organization’s web site. Even Bob Doll was there! Well, it turns out that their day was not quite over. Once we had reached cruising altitude, the leader of the group took over the microphone duties from the flight attendants and began recognizing each veteran on the flight one by one giving their rank and a description of where and how they served in the War. It was an incredible experience. After everyone had been recognized, the veterans received a well-deserved round of applause from everyone on the plane. I will not soon forget my flight with some of the best from the Greatest Generation.
If you’d like to learn more about or donate to Honor Flight, visit Franklin County Honor Flight in the Saint Louis area or the national site for the Honor Flight Network.