On April 29, 2004, the World War II memorial was completed in Washington DC.
In an attempt to get as many WWII vets to see the Memorial, the Honor Flight Network was established to transport these vets, free of expense, to see the Memorial as well as other memorials in their honor. Since it's getting harder and harder to find these vets, the program was expended to start bringing Korean War vets to the nation's capital.
The quote that captures the whole Honor Flight Day is this one from Will Rogers.......
We can't all be heroes. Some of us have to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of being a guardian on a flight from Cincinnati to DC.
A "Guardian" is a person assigned to a vet. My job was to make sure that the vet was taken care of; making sure they had taken their medications, taken to the bathrooms, making sure they were hydrated, load wheel chairs, etc.
It was a long day; I got up at 4:15 am and my head didn't hit the pillow until midnight..... but I would not trade that experience for anything.
My vet was Al. Al is now 82 and a Korean War vet. Al was originally from Cleveland so that was what his VFW buddies called him.
As Al and I went to each of the memorials, I would converse with he and the other vets. The one quality I picked up from all the guys was humility.
To talk to these guys, you would think that it was no big deal........ they simply did what they were asked to do.
It's really a stark contrast to a current pop culture that has people flaunting lack of talent and/or contribution all over reality TV shows and Youtube. Where a guy does a five minute dance for catching an eight yard out. Where there's an entire show devoted to identifying baby daddy's and the more outrageous you act, the more air time you get.
Tonight, The Gekko's will be attending a Linkin Park concert. What do you think culture shock is going to be there?
I'll post some photos of our trip when I get the chance.
But if you get a chance to help out the Honor Flight program, do it. Let's reward those who have done so much for us.