Friday, June 25, 2010

Honor Flight Guardians - Part 2

Picking up where we left off, after a good visit at the WWII memorial, the six-bus convoy went to Arlington National Cemetery where lunch was waiting for all of us in the "Women in War" memorial building.  From there we moved to the Tombs of the Unknown Soldier to take in the solemn changing of the guard.

Notice some of the vets and guardians in the background.  This was a very touching moment for many of them.

Then we were off to the Marine Corp Memorial, more famously known as the Iwo Jima Memorial ....

where again there was another ceremony.  We are all gathered at the base of the statue while the Honor Flight leaders and Ft. Meade airmen conduct a memorial service to those from Alabama who died on Iwo Jima.

And then honored these men in the group who fought and survived there.

John and the others observed the ceremony with rapt attention.

The airmen were really great with the vets all day, helping out, encouraging, showing appreciation.  Here they take a photo with one of our vets (l) and stand at attention as we leave in the buses (r).  Some of our vets on board saluted back.  It was quite touching.

With one stop left we were taken to the Korean War Memorial/Lincoln Memorial/Viet Nam Memorial area. Here John and I pose for a picture together .... do Barb and Marvin.

After that, we loaded the buses one more time for the trip back to Reagan National Airport, where we accompanied our vets to the gate.  As we waited for the boarding call, we were entertained by a dance group performing 1940s style routines, right there in the walkway by the gate.  Eventually came the sad moment when we had to say goodbye to Marvin and John for their return to Huntsville. 

Much has been said and written, by many so much more eloquent that we are, about the generation that fought, and won, World War II.  They were heroic.  The greatest generation they are called.  Grandpa and Dad, they were also.  In school, we learned about the war as a matter of history.  But these days we find that we having a growing appreciation for what our fore bearers did for us, from the Revolution to WWII. There is little we can do to repay them, but it was a complete and humbling honor for us to be a part of this day and give just this little bit back.

John and Marvin, if you are out there reading this, THANK YOU.  Thank you for your service so that we can have what we have today.  And thank you for letting us be blessed by helping you experience the remembrances that Washington DC has to offer.  

And to all our veterans - THANK YOU ALL! 

1 comment:

CallinaP said...

What a great experience,I hope you guys can do it again. The pictures and you words were moving.