West Virginia Honor Flight: Part 2 - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

West Virginia Honor Flight: Part 2

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Organizers of the Honor Flight said they wanted the trip to Washington, D.C. to be one the veterans will never forget. That was accomplished on its most recent flight out of North Central West Virginia.  

"I've been amazed by the reception we have gotten here. I couldn't believe it," said Charles Brown, WWII Navy Veteran.

The veterans were welcomed into the nation's capitol with open arms from the moment they got off the plane in Virginia on May 10.

"Police escort, motorcycles leading the way, and the greeting we got at the airport was fantastic. It really was," Brown said.

The first stop for the veterans was at the World War II Memorial. Organizers said one of the most rewarding parts about the trip is seeing the look on the veterans faces when they see their memorials for the very first time. No reaction was disappointing.

"I'll never forget it. I'll never forget it. It's wonderful," said Harold Wilson, WWII Army Veteran.

Veterans were quiet as they entered the WWII Memorial, some in disbelief that they were actually there.

"It's amazing. I can hardly believe what I am seeing," said Otha Compton Jr., WWII Navy Veteran.

"We're getting old and if you're going to see it, you better see it now," Robert Weikle, WWII Army Veteran added.

When it came to the memorial of the 'Forgotten War', it was almost silent.

Each veteran took off their hat as they entered, each touching the wall that silently said so much about their past.

"The memorial, it's hard to describe the feeling that it leaves over you," said Richard Robinson, Korea Navy Veteran. "I had a classmate from high school who was killed there. So it means a lot there."

Immediately after, the veterans walked with their guardians past the Lincoln Memorial and into the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Each person was looking around and soaking it all in.

"Everything brings back memories of what happened before. It's all very nice," said Frank Markefka, WWII Army Veteran.

Our time here at the nation's capital isn't over quite yet.

In part 3 of the Honor Flight series, we will take you to the Arlington Cemetery where hundreds of thousands of our veterans have been laid to rest.

That story will air on Monday, May 19. 

For previous stories, click here.
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