The Veterans Honor Flight of ND/MN is one of several Honor Flight programs that recognizes American veterans for their sacrifices and achievements by transporting them to Washington, D.C., to view the monuments built in their honor. This is done at no cost to the veterans and has become a beautiful tradition for those who have served.
This October’s Honor Flight trip started with a sendoff from Grand Forks International Airport as family and friends filled the terminal, cheering for the 109 veterans departing to Washington, D.C. Each veteran was accompanied by a guardian who would attend to them for the entire trip, helping them have a safe and rewarding experience.
Veterans were on the go from the time they landed until their flight home three days later. They visited the National Museum of US Army, World War II Memorial, National Archives, Navy Memorial, Air Force Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery, Korean and Vietnam memorials on the National Mall, FDR Memorial, Marine Corps War Memorial, Military Women’s Memorial and the Fort McHenry National Monument.
The trip of emotional healing surfaced strong feelings for many veterans, who never spoke about their time serving and the horrors they faced. This was their time to remember and share stories with fellow veterans of how scared they were, the bloodshed they had seen and the friends and family they lost.
The return to the Grand Forks airport was a welcome home these veterans deserved, as well as a recognition of those who served and didn’t make it home. The welcome reception included cheers from family and friends, reaching out to shake hands with each of the returning veterans and say, “Thank you.”
We would like to extend our gratitude to all veterans for their service, bravery, and sacrifices for our country – and for our freedoms.
About Veterans Honor Flight
The Veterans Honor Flight of ND/MN is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, 100% volunteer organization with a mission to celebrate America’s veterans by inviting them to share in experiencing our nation’s memorials. Veterans must apply to get on the waiting list, which currently has over 600 veterans. Top priority is given to World War II and terminally ill veterans from all wars. The Honor Flight Network has escorted 22,000 veterans annually and nearly 275,000 veterans from all services since it started in 2005. VISIT VETERANSHONORFLIGHTOFNDMN.ORG TO VOLUNTEER OR DONATE!
Photos courtesy of Russel Hons Photography