WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than 80 south Florida World War II veterans touched down after an incredible Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. The non-profit organization flies war veterans to the nation's capitol to visit and reflect at their memorials.
This was the first trip to D.C. for some of these aging veterans. This is the first Honor Flight to land in the nation's capitol after the re-opening the federal government
The very moment their Honor Flight touched down, they were greeted - and treated - like the American heroes that they are. "To be here today to witness this is emotionally overwhelming," said Donna Jones, a North Carolina resident visiting Washington, D.C. "It's beautiful," she said as dozens of veterans passed by.
After landing near Washington, D.C., the veterans boarded buses and headed for the heart of the city. The first stop on the emotional journey was at the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial. "You're so thankful that you are here and this is so great," said Carey Parnell, a former Marine who visited the monument alongside his grandson, who is currently serving as a Marine. "But then you think of the poor guys that didn't make it," said Parnell.
Then a somber remembrance took place at Arlington National Cemetery. "The first thing it brings to my mind is my family and my grandfather who is buried here," said U.S. Army veteran Edgar Jadwin, who lives in Vero Beach. "Many friends of mine who I knew who are buried here," he said."
The veterans then arrived at the monument built in their honor: the World War II memorial. Some of them did not know their family members from across the country would be there to walk with them on this special day. "I've been in Florida 32 years now, and I never expected anything like this - not with all my beautiful family," said Bob Munyan, a Fort Pierce resident and also World War II veteran.