With each passing year, the number of surviving World War II veterans continues to dwindle. So with each passing year, events like the Honor Flight become exponentially significant.
Nine World War II veterans who fought evil and defended their country have returned to Fargo, North Dakota after taking an Honor Flight to Washington, D.C.
The program, part of the Honor Flight Network, began in the nation’s capital in 2005, with the inaugural event bringing more than four planeloads of veterans to visit various memorials.
Due to rules stating that only first-time vets may enter the program, only a handful of veterans attended this year’s event, sponsored by local Fargo station WDAY. In spite of the relatively low turnout, it was still an important experience for the attendees.
“This is probably one of the biggest events I’ve experience since WWII,” said veteran Henry Anderson.
Another WWII veteran, Bryon Osander, told WDAY that he’d never had a chance to make it to Washington, D.C. before, adding that he was “so pleased” to see the monuments and be in the company of fellow veterans.
In true hero fashion, veteran Doris Rixie said she didn’t feel like she “deserved” the recognition.
“I feel I went to serve our country because it was the thing to do at the time,” Rixie said.
Photos posted to WDAY Honor Flight’s Facebook page show dozens of veterans from Honor Flight programs all over the country, along with their escorts, posing at the World War II memorial.
Other photos show veterans and their escorts visiting the Korean War memorial and looking on at the iconic view of the Washington Monument from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
While all veterans are welcomed to participate, the program focuses primarily on the small number of WWII veterans still living, as well as veterans from the Korean War or who are terminally ill.