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Veterans travel on final Heartland Honor Flight
For the past year, the Heartland Honor Flights have brought about 1500 Nebraska veterans to Washington D.C. to see the World War II Memorial and other monuments.
The final honor flights are taking place this week.
News 5's Dennis Kellogg and videographer Kevin Rempe returned early Friday morning from Washington D.C.
About 400 veterans went Thursday and another 400 are in D.C. right now on the final Heartland Honor Flight.
This project takes World War II veterans to Washington to see the memorial built as a thank you to them. The veterans who have made the trip have come from nearly 200 towns across Nebraska.
They arrive in D.C. to a cheering crowd, and then a little while later, get their first look at the World War II Memorial. They spend more than an hour looking at the pillars, the gold stars, the reflection pool, and all the inscriptions. It is more than just a day–trip to these men and women – it is the chance of a lifetime.
"I think it is wonderful. It is something I always dreamt of but never thought it would develop. It is something else," said Sutton veteran Don Trautman. "I never suspicioned anything like this would ever take place. I tell you this is the happiest day of my life. I tell you to have something like this happen and think the government done this for us. Why man, it is the best day of my life."
In addition to the World War II Memorial, veterans also watched the Marine silent drill team perform and visited Arlington National Cemetery for the changing of the guard ceremony.
The final Heartland Honor Flight will touch down in Omaha about 10:30 Friday night.
Original Airdate: 4/24/09
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