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For friends, family and the random search engine visitor. This blog started as an experiment in mobile blogging from my Palm TREO 600 700 Prē HTC Evo,Samsung 5. Now it serves as a simple repository of favorite activities. Expect bad golf, good fishing, great sailing, eating, drinking, adventure travel, occasional politics and anything else I find interesting along the way including, but not limited to, any of the labels listed here...

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

70th Chicago Honor Flight


Reveille came early. Our Honor Flight Chicago marching orders were to get to Midway Airport by 4:00 AM. So after last night's overly exciting Cub game, we had maybe three hours of sleep, to be up at at 2:30 and rolling by 3:00.

 

The orange shirted volunteers were working hours ahead of us and warmly greeted us curbside. By the time I returned from parking, Dad had been registered, his portrait taken, checked out by a red shirt volunteer nurse, and sorted for our adventure with 103 WWII and Korean War veterans.

 

After coffee, donuts, and entertainment at the gate, we're on our way to our way to D.C.


I'm wearing the green shirt of a guardian. This pic was taken by an Honor Flight volunteer who apparently misunderstood this moment of intense concentration on my part as I am mentally reviewing and focusing on the lessons of my Guardian Training three days before.

It was raining as we landed at Dulles in D.C...

 

... but the greetings for the vets was warm and the coordination between Chicago and D.C. Guardians went off without a hitch. It rained most of the day for the tour of the Memorials,  but no one seemed to care. There is no way to capture the pride, joy and patriotism of the experience in a blog post or a few photographs, so I'll just pick a few to to include here. There are many more on the Honor Flight Chicago Website.

70th honor Flight Memorial Flag Box
Most meaningful for my dad and our family, was the flag box that accompanied the vets throughout the day and and during the flights. The flag box is a tribute honoring WWII and Korean War Veterans who have passed and could only participate in spirit and the memories of their families and friends.  Dad's three brothers Ben, John, and Sam, his cousin "Goldie", and brother-in-law Howard were all represented in the flag box and accompanied dad on this trip.





 The ceremony at the WWII Memorial was a special moment for us and all the vets.



But there were more Memorials & Museums to see before heading back to Dulles, Midway and home.

Air Force Memorial
Coast Guard Memorial
Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial Wall
Lincoln Memorial
Enola Gay at Air & Space Museum
Air & Space Museum
It was a long, heartwarming and remarkable day, but there was more to come.


Mail Call on the flight back...



... and when we arrive at Midway, a friends and family greeting that had to be seen to be believed.







Kudos, congratulations, and heartfelt thanks to Mary, John, Tracey, Laura, all the Honor Flight Chicago volunteers and organizers, as well as friends, family, and kids that contributed letters or showed up at Midway for this extraordinary day in the life of my father and all veterans that participated.

For the final word, we'll go to The Man himself:



NOTE: I may add additional videos to this post as I find and edit them. Stay tuned.

2 comments:

Bruce Aho said...

Thank you for your service Sid and God bless you...

tim mckeegan said...

Great summary of the day and the experience, it's a shame this concept didn't take shape until so many of our veterans had passed. What a great experience and honor for you and the dad.