The morning of Aug. 28 will mark the 26th Mission of the Great River Honor Flight program and on its return will increase the number of local veterans who have flown to Washington D.C. for free to over 800.
The trip will depart from Hannibal LaGrange University around 2 a.m. on Aug. 28. The 33 Veterans representing WWII, Korea and Vietnam Wars and their Guardians will travel by Charter Bus to St. Louis Lambert International Airport where they will board a flight to Baltimore and then on to our nation’s capital.
The first stop will be at the Korea War Memorial due to the number of veterans from that war who will be on the flight. This stop will also include visits to the nearby Lincoln Memorial and Vietnam War Memorial.
Next on their itinerary is a stop at the World War II Memorial, which sits next to the Washington Monument and where a group picture will be taken.
Other stops later that day include the Iwo Jima Memorial dedicated to that WWII battle and the Marines who fought there plus an emotional visit to Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown.
The trip will end with a visit to the Air Force Memorial that overlooks the Pentagon where they will also enjoy dinner prior to returning to Reagan National for their return trip home.
The direct flight will take them back to St. Louis where they will board a bus for the trip back to Hannibal. The expected arrival time will be around 10:15 p.m. at Hannibal LaGrange’s Mabee Sports Complex.
Of the 33 local Veterans traveling four are World War II veterans, three are Vietnam Veterans and the remaining 26 served in Korea.
Thirteen of the Veterans on this trip reside in Missouri, five reside in Iowa, and 15 from Illinois. They represent Adams, Marion, Hancock, Scotland, Pike, Lee, Clark, Knox, and Lewis Counties.
Twenty-three guardians will accompany them on their Flight. The volunteer guardians’ focus is to make the trip as enjoyable as possible for each veteran. Guardians not only volunteer their time, but also pay out of their own pockets to cover their travel costs.
To date, Great River Honor Flight, the Tri-States’ hub of the Honor Flight program, has flown 780 local Veterans to Washington D.C. since it was established in October of 2009.
The Great River Honor Flight offers one-day trips to Washington, D.C. for these local heroes at no cost to them. Great River Honor Flight, a Missouri Nonprofit Corporation established in October of 2009, was created solely to honor America’s veterans that live in our area for all they have sacrificed by providing, free of charge, transportation to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.
For updates and pictures from the trip, go to www.wgem.com/honorflight, where pictures and comments from the trip will be posted throughout the day.
For additional information, contact either David Mobley at 573-985-5641 or 573-248-2136 or Susan Till at 217-242-8777.