Land of Lincoln Honor Flight (LLHF) will take its fifth 2019 Honor Flight on Tuesday, Sept. 24, departing from Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport honoring 92 American veterans. On board LLHF Mission 58 to Washington, D.C., will be one World War II, 11 Korean War and 80 Vietnam War-era veterans. These veterans represent all branches of military service: 12 Air Force, 51 Army, eight Marine and 21 Navy veterans.
The veterans and their guardians will arrive at the airport Tuesday morning at 4:15, having traveled from the 62 central and southern Illinois cities and communities of Altamont, Ashland, Astoria, Athens, Atlanta, Arthur, Beardstown, Bloomington, Bunker Hill, Carlinville, Chatham, Clinton, Danville, Decatur, Dorsey, East Alton, Effingham, Fairbury, Fisher, Gibson City, Girard, Glenarm, Godfrey, Havana, Hopedale, Ipava, Jonesboro, Lake in the Hills, Largo, Lebanon, Lincoln, Lovington, Manhattan, Maroa, Maryville, Meredosia, Moweaqua, Mt. Zion, Normal, Oakland, Oakley, O’Fallon, Olney, Oreana, Owaneco, Palestine, Paris, Paxton, Raymond, Shelbyville, Sigel, Springfield, Tovey, Tower Hill, Troy, Virden, Virginia, Warrensburg, Waterloo, Watson, Williamsville, Witt.
The veterans will board luxury motor coaches upon arrival at Ronald Reagan National Airport in D.C. Their most important stops will be at the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Other stops include the Lincoln Memorial, the National Air & Space Museum (Chantilly, Virginia), the US Marine Corps Memorial, the US Navy Plaza and the US Air Force Memorial.
This day of honor is provided at no cost to the veterans.
The return to Springfield airport is planned at 9:30 p.m. and the general public, along with friends and family, are encouraged to “pack the ‘port” to Welcome Home these heroes. Come early. All are encouraged to wear patriotic colors, bring chairs, balloons, posters, etc., to show appreciation and support to these veterans. Words of thanks, handshakes and hugs are also encouraged.
Veteran applications continue to be accepted with flight priority given in the following order: World War II (enlisted by 12/31/1946), then Korean War Era (01/01/1947 to 12/31/1957), followed by the Vietnam War Era (01/01/1958 to 05/07/1975). Any certified terminally ill veteran should contact LLHF directly. Veteran or Guardian Applications may be obtained at www.LandofLincolnHonorFlight.org by clicking on Applications tab.
Land of Lincoln Honor Flight is a 501©3 nonprofit organization that receives no government funding. It is only able to honor the veteran with a trip to D.C. due to the donations, sponsorships, fundraising events, merchandise sales and supporting efforts of the many local businesses, individuals and organizations within its service area. Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has no paid staff, no office and no utilities costs. Its ongoing administrative cost is approximately 1 percent.
Since its inception in 2009, Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has served 4,454 Illinois veterans on 57 flights.
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