On the morning of Sunday, May 18th, 2014, over 60 World War II Veterans from the New England Area, each accompanied by a guardian, arrived at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, and were greeted with a roaring applause from active military, friends, family and total strangers as they traveled from the airport terminal to buses waiting to take them to Washington D.C. for the day by way of the Honor Flight New England program. The program has been fully sponsored the last three trips by MetaVR. WATD was lucky enough to join the veterans for the day.
Led by a police escort, three coach buses full of WWII veterans were now on their way to Washington for the day!
The first stop was the National World War II Memorial, where the veterans were able to get out and explore the grounds for over an hour.
(Click below to listen to an interview with Frank about his military experiences, and thoughts on the Honor Flight Program)
Next, they were back on the road and headed to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington Nation Cemetery.
Up next was the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial.
(Click below to listen to an interview with Herbert about his military experiences, and thoughts on the Honor Flight Program)
Back on the road; they were now headed to the last D.C. stop of the day, the Air Force Memorial.
(Click below to listen to an interview with Robert about his military experiences, and thoughts on the Honor Flight Program)
On their way back from D.C., every veteran opened their own mail package full of letters from friends and family, arranged by the Honor Flight Program.
It was now around 6 p.m., and the veterans were enjoying a buffet dinner at a local American Legion Hall just outside Baltimore, before returning to the airport.
While waiting for their plane home at BWI airport on Sunday night, veterans were given pictures of themselves from when they were in the military, and sang and danced to music of their era.
Honor Flight New England has delivered more than 1,000 veterans in over a dozen trips to D.C. since they were founded in 2009.
Click below listen to the radio feature on Honor Flight New England, as presented on the Veterans’ Voice radio show on WATD, which airs every Wednesday night at 7:30-8:30 p.m.
It includes a call-in from Honor Flight New England Founder Joe Byron, and in-studio discussion from Francisco Urena, Commissioner of Veterans Services for the City of Boston.