QUINCY (WGEM) — The Great River Honor Flight’s sixth and final mission for 2019 will be on October 17 and will depart from the campus of Hannibal LaGrange University.
This is the 57th overall mission for local veterans since the program started in this area in 2010. This trip will include Tri State veterans who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and between those conflicts.
This latest group will consist of 36 local veterans from Adams, McDonough, Tazwell, and Hancock counties in Illinois as well as Marion, Ralls, Clark, Lewis, Shelby, Audrain, Adair and Pike counties in Missouri and Lee county in Iowa.
The trip will depart from HLGU around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 17. The 36 Veterans and 20 Guardians will travel by Charter Bus to St. Louis Lambert International Airport where they will board a flight to Baltimore and then on to our nation’s capital.
The first stop will be at the Vietnam Memorial. This stop will also include visits to the nearby Korea Way and Lincoln Memorials.
Next on their itinerary is a stop at the World War II Memorial, which sits next to the Washington Monument and where a group picture will be taken.
Next will be a visit and lunch stop at the Air Force Memorial overlooking the Pentagon as well as a tour of major spots in DC.
The trip will end with an emotional visit to Arlington National Cemetery including seeing the ceremonial changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier prior to returning to Reagan National for their trip home.
The return flight will take them back to St. Louis where they will board a bus for the trip back to Hannibal. The expected arrival time will be around 10 p.m. at HLGU.
Great River Honor Flight was started on Veterans Day 2009 with its first flight scheduled on April 13, 2010. Back then all the veterans were from World War II.
That is the way it continued for several years until it was decided to expand to those veterans who had served during the Korean War.
Since then it has also expanded to include veterans during the Vietnam War as well as those who served between those conflicts.
The total number of local veterans who have flown to Washington DC for free continues to increase thanks to the financial support of so many individuals, groups and businesses in the area.
To date Great River Honor Flight, the Tri-States’ hub of the Honor Flight program has flown 1,820 local Veterans to Washington D.C. since it was established in 2009. This trip will increase that total to 1,856.
The Great River Honor Flight offers one-day trips to Washington, D.C. for these local heroes at no cost to them. Great River Honor Flight, a Missouri Nonprofit Corporation established in October of 2009, was created solely to honor America’s veterans that live in our area for all they have sacrificed by providing, free of charge, transportation to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials dedicated to honor their service and sacrifices.
If you want to keep up with updates and pictures from their trip, go to www.wgem.com/honorflight where pictures and comments from the trip will be posted throughout the day. For additional information, contact Carlos Fernandez at 217-228-6600.
Photo is of Great River Honor Flight Mission #56 at the WWII Memorial.