The Honor Flight is gearing up for the next trip to take veterans to the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. The memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died, and those who supported the war effort from home.
There are 114 veterans and 70 guardians scheduled to be on the next flight from South Carolina on April 21. Richard Morton served in the Navy in the Philippines. Morton says this trip means a lot.
I think it’s great. I really do. I met Mr. Dukes out there a while ago. It’s just great seeing them doing this. Not that we deserve it. It’s nice, though to get the recognition. Sure is… it’s great.
The memorial opened to the public in April, six years ago. Veteran Gordon Leslie from Newberry survived an enemy attack in Japan.
Suicide plane hit my ship. There were four of us from Newberry that went in together and stayed together. One on the deck above me got killed, one on the deck below me got killed. The other fella and I were on the deck the plane hit.
Leslie recalls the day he lost his friends.
April the 12th is the day that we got hit at Okinawa. And the first announcement I heard on the transport ship that I was transported through, was that President Roosevelt died that day.
Gordon Leslie can’t wait to go:
Well, I’d been to Washington a long, long time ago. But I hadn’t been there since they had the monument up there, and I’m looking forward to it.
Honor Flights began as a small way to show appreciation and to assist the WWII veterans with free flights to visit the memorial. For more information go online to www.honorflightsc.com