70 WWII Veterans to be Welcomed Home after Free Flight to DC
“We can’t all be heroes, some of us need to stand on the curb and clap as they go by.” -A quote by Will Rogers
On Saturday, September 6th, Indy Honor Flight is again inviting the public to take part in Operation Homecoming! Having filled the airport there has been a need to move the operation to the Plainfield High School which has plenty of room and seating for people as they await the heroes to come home. Upon returning from their sixth trip (the first of three this Fall) to Washington DC bringing yet another 70 Hoosier Heroes to our Nation’s Capital they are hoping to create a welcome home that all in attendance will never forget.
The Honor Flight program is a not-for-profit organization that provides free transportation to our elderly Veterans so that they may visit the memorials which have been erected on their behalf. Most of these brave men and women would not have been able to make such a trip on their own. Having not been completed until 60 years after the end of WWII the average age of those we fly is now 90 years old.
One of the highlights on this wonderful same day trip is the “Operation Homecoming” celebration that takes place as the veterans return home following their all day visit to DC. At the close of the war most U.S. soldiers remained in occupied territory for months and even years before returning home. Once back home, little more than a hug and handshake awaited them as the country was still coming out of a recession. So on Saturday evening, September 6th, 2014 we hope to give them a triumphant homecoming over 69 years in the making.
We encourage the Central Indiana community to come out to show their gratitude and support by waving flags, cheering and welcoming home these heroes who quite literally saved the world. Join hundreds of friends and family members alongside Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Police, Firemen, The Young Marines, Sea Cadets, Re-enactors and several thousand grateful Americans who simply want to say… Thank You.
Time / Date: 8:00 PM Saturday, Sept. 6th, 2014 (Veterans arrive at approx. 8:30pm)
Location: Plainfield High School
Address: 1 Red Pride Drive, Plainfield, IN 46168
Visuals: 70 WWII Veterans will be coming into a gym packed with several thousand people.
The Gordon 500 Bagpipers will lead the parade procession and welcome them home in style.
The Patriot Guard and American Legion Riders will line the route with American Flags.
Over 4,000 in attendance for Operation Homecoming on previous flights!
Pictures and more info are available via www.indyhonorflight.org
About Indy Honor Flight
In 2004 The WWII Memorial was dedicated and opened to the public. The sad truth of the matter however is that at that point in time the average age of our WWII Veterans was 81 years old, leaving many financially and/or physically unable to visit THEIR memorial. Honor Flight to the rescue! The Honor Flight program is comprised of volunteers who work tirelessly at first fundraising, then planning the logistics before making the one day trip itself. Then… they do it again, chartering full size planes and filling them with veterans and volunteers.
Having met the evening prior the Veterans and their Guardians will arrive Saturday morning after a 90 minute flight to DC boarding buses that will transport them around our Nation’s Capital. The first stop is the WWII Memorial, the reason for the trip. When the Veterans touch the names of the battles etched in stone, or gaze upon the wall of stars, each of 4,000 representing 100 American lives lost during the war, they know their friends and their accomplishments will never be forgotten. Next it’s on to the Korean, Lincoln and Vietnam memorials. Finally a visit to the Marine memorial before ending the day at Arlington National Cemetery and laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Then we head back home to Indiana, sharing stories as people shout “Mail Call!” along the way. As the veterans read the letters from home the crowd gathers back in Indianapolis for a Hero’s welcome. For many of these men and women, it is the first such welcome home celebration they have received.
To view photos of our last flight, click the link below