November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

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It is Veterans Day here in the US. The day we honor the service of all who served in the military. With so many friends and family members who served, it is a holiday I am always mindful of.

So when I was in DC a couple of weeks ago for the Marine Corps Marathon I was struck by this scene. It is a group of old soldiers observing the solemn ritual at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Between their age and the veteran ball caps some were wearing I was reasonably sure they were a group of WWII Veterans. There were so many of them (only a few are seen in the image), I began to wonder what the occasion was — what brought them together there. Then I noticed that they (and their companions) were all wearing bright red lanyards. Then I noticed a photographer standing near me wearing the same lanyard. So I approached her.

She was shooting for the Honor Flight Network. Their mission is to “Transport America’s veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit those memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.”

Their current focus is on helping WWII veterans visit their monuments. They will also extend the same service to Korean War and Vietnam War Veterans.

More from their website: “The inaugural Honor Flight Tour took place in May of 2005. Six small planes flew out of Springfield, Ohio taking twelve World War II veterans on a visit to the memorial in Washington, DC. In August of 2005, an ever-expanding waiting list of veterans led our transition to commercial airline carriers with the goal of accommodating as many veterans as possible. Partnering with HonorAir in Hendersonville, North Carolina, we formed the “Honor Flight Network.” Today, we continue working aggressively to expand our programs to other cities across the nation.”

Thanks to all who served.

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