Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In 2006, a community-wide project called Honor Flight Tennessee Valley began, with its' sole purpose to honor veterans at their memorials in Washington DC. Since its beginning, almost seven hundred WWII Veterans have completed applications to be honored on a one-day, all expense paid round-trip from Huntsville, AL to Washington, DC.
On Saturday October 24th my grandfather left around 6:30 a.m. with 123 other veterans to join the 9th Honor Flight.
I arrived Saturday night at the Huntsville International Airport at 8:00 to pick him up.I never imagined there would be all of this going on.....
A group of young men and women from North Carolina danced to old music and the guys wore authenic World War II uniforms.

The Huntsville Symphony played

and the Girl Scouts sang the National Anthem.

The flight was delayed due to mechnical probemls. They finally arrived around 10:00.
"Uncle Sam" called each Veterans name as they came through. After each name their was a loud cheer and everyone clapping and waving their American flags.
Sadly my cameras battery died so I have no pictures of my grandfather.
All pictures below are from al.com taken by Bob Gathany

Looking out of the plane to the National Mall about to land at Reagan National Airport.
These are some of the stops they made....

Arlington Cemetery
Tomb of the Unkowns changing of the Guard ceremony

World War II Memorial
Honor Flight Tennessee Valley has initiated a tradition to honor those who didn't live to see their memorials. Pilots from the Alabama Air National Guard or other representatives of Honor Flight receive the burial flags from loved ones in a formal ceremony on Friday evening the day before the Honor Flight.
The flags are then flown to Washington, DC the next morning for a ceremony honoring the deceased veterans.
(that's my grandfather on the front row in the center with the red jacket on)
The Veterans ate lunch at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial.
My grandfather talked all the way home about the day. He had a wonderful time and this event is something that he will never forget!

1 comment:

Elizabeth Sloan said...

That is SUCH a cool trip! And what a wonderful way to honor and celebrate the brave soldiers from WWII!!