ARLINGTON, Va. (August 18, 2021) – The Honor Flight Network resumed travel to Washington, DC today as 112 veterans traveled with Honor Flight’s Chicago hub to see the national memorials built in their honor. The group was comprised of veterans of World War II, the Korean War, and Vietnam War. The Honor Flight Network’s iconic trips—which are provided at no cost to the veterans—have been on hold since March 2020 as a COVID-19 precaution.
A Joint Service Color Guard opens a special ceremony in honor of Honor Flight Chicago veterans visiting the World War II Memorial on August 18, 2021.
(Credit: Stephen R. Brown)
Now that trips have resumed, the Honor Flight Network expects to soon reach the historic milestone of serving 250,000 veterans.
Honor Flight Chicago held a special ceremony at the World War II Memorial to honor its veterans. The ceremony included a Joint Service Color Guard, military vocalist singing the National Anthem, and a bugler playing Taps in remembrance of all those lost. For the veterans, the trip provided a rare occasion to bond with those who shared in their military service and an opportunity to reflect on their time in uniform.
“Honor Flight trips have long been called, ‘the experience of a lifetime’ for veterans, but today’s long-awaited return has made the emotions of experiencing these memorials indescribable,” said David Smith, President and Chair, Honor Flight Network Board of Directors. “The last 16 months have been tough for our organization and the veterans we serve, but to resume our travel at a time when we could best ensure everyone’s safety has made this moment worth the wait.”
The Honor Flight Network (HFN) requires all their hubs to follow strict health precautions before resuming travel. At this time, all 2021 participants must be fully vaccinated or receive a negative PCR test within 72 hours of a trip’s departure. HFN is also following health recommendations from the CDC, the District of Columbia, and each hub’s state and local jurisdiction, and the masking guidance of all trip venues.
About Honor Flight Network
The Honor Flight Network was formed in 2005 with a mission of honoring our nation’s veterans by bringing them to Washington, DC to visit the memorials and monuments dedicated to their service and sacrifice. The Honor Flight Network is currently comprised of over 130 hubs throughout the country dedicated to carrying out the Honor Flight mission. In addition to World War II veterans, the organization transports those who served in the Korean War, Vietnam War, intermediary operations, and in special cases of terminal illness or injury, veterans from more recent service eras. Since 2005, the Honor Flight Network has taken more than 240,000 veterans to Washington D.C. For more information, visit honorflight.org.