Honor Flight Chicago was founded to recognize our WWII Veterans with a day of honor, remembrance and celebration from a proud and grateful nation. Check out their website here to learn a little bit more about what they are all about. After the veteran’s long day in Washington DC they were taken off the plane in wheelchairs and paired up with a sailor who would lead them into the surprise celebration. My Great-Uncle Don is a WWII Veteran who served in the Air-Force. His plane was shot down over Germany and after he was found on the ground, he was captured and made a POW. He survived to create an amazing life for himself and a beautiful family. He was invited to take the honor flight with fellow WWII Veterans-you will see him in some of these photographs.
We arrived at Midway at 9pm to await the arrival of the vets when someone told us that their flight was delayed and it would be an hour and forty minute wait (at least). No one moved except to sit down or grab some food, no one said “that’s too long, lets go home”, no one got upset over it- it just made the celebration and anticipation longer and that was fine. Family, friends and supporters flooded the baggage claim of Midway Airport, people made signs (you can see my red chevron sign in the pictures), flags were passed out, there were bagpipers, color guard, police officers, firefighters, members of every service and rank, fellow veterans and a live orchestra. The event was absolutely amazing to not only see, but to be apart of.
As the vets were wheeled in the room began to cheer loudly, flags swaying in the air, signs being held up high, tears in peoples eyes and smiles all around. The vets eyes lit up and they looked in awe as they all grinned from ear to ear as they were made into a parade, people surrounding them wanting to shake their hands and say “thank you”. My Uncle Don saw his wife and his eyes widened, he grabbed her hand and squeezed it and gave her a kiss- I can’t explain the look in his eyes except for complete and udder happiness. I wish I could post them all, but here are just a few photographs from the event.
My Uncle Don & I