World War II Veterans from around the Triangle were treated to a flight to Washington DC this week in what was the fourth of it’s kind this year. The non-profit group Triangle Flight of Honor organises and raises the money for the trip. The 102 Veterans were flow to the Capital and toured the World War II Memorial, The Air Force and Marine Corps Monuments and also Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
The boys and I went out to welcome them home. The USO were there in force with flags balloons, bunting, there was a band playing WWII era songs. There were hundreds of people there and it looked like a mixture of family, friends and just people like us who wanted to say Thank You!
I of course screwed up the dinner arrangements and got there too early, but not early enough to get food for the boys and so as we waited Rory started to moan for food and wanting to go home. When Conor started in I used the line “if it wasn't for these brave men and women you’d be speaking German now”.I don’t think they got it.
As we waited the crowd grew and grew and then a Color Guard appeared and proceeded to come down the walkway, then the stirring sound of Bagpipes as a Pipe and Drum band led the Veterans through the crowd.The crowd went wild cheering and waving flags it made me think of the ticker tape parades in NY. The Veterans all came down the walk way shaking hands and waving, we went down and shook hands with the last two off the plane and just said thank you!
It was a fantastic experience and I know the Veterans enjoyed it and appreciated it, at this point the boys were really into everything, (Rory was only interested in the guns of the Color Guard!)
It truly was a hero’s welcome!
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