Over the past several weeks, members of my staff in Utah and Washington D.C. were privileged to attend the recent events organized by the Utah Honor Flight. With each event, the Utah Honor Flight provides a send-off ceremony for the veterans, a trip to the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., and a welcome home celebration for the veterans when they return.
Because the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. was not completed until 2004, most WWII veterans have not had the opportunity to visit the site. As an expression of gratitude for the dedicated service of these veterans, Utah Honor Flight provides the veterans with a cost-free trip to Washington D.C. to visit the memorial. Without the Utah Honor Flight, many our state’s veterans would not be able to make the trip.
Of the 16 million veterans who originally served in WWII, about 1 million currently remain—with Utah being home to around 8,000 of those veterans. Because the time for honoring the veterans of this “greatest generation” is becoming short, the service provided by the Utah Honor Flight cannot be understated.
I am grateful to the members of this generation who sacrificed everything for our freedom, and I am also grateful for those who are still with us to preserve what they fought so hard to protect.
Special breakfast before the flight to Washington D.C.
A group of WWII Veterans preparing to board the bus
The Utah Patriot Guard escorting the Honor Flight to the airport
Saluting the American Flag at the WWII Monument
Remembering the Veterans who have already passed on