For every veteran their experience is different.
“I was in the Pacific. I was on an LST,” said Joseph DeMarco, a WWII veteran.
“I was stationed in Italy,” said Arthur LeFevre, a WWII veteran.
But for many WW-II veterans the reaction to their memorial in Washington D.C. is the same.
“It’s something you won't forget,” said DeMarco.
“Well it’s certainly going to be an emotional day. We’ll look back and see all the people that served and made the difference and that’s why we have our freedom today is because people like that dedicated themselves to serving the country and made the difference,” said LeFevre.
Fifteen WWII veterans boarded a plane to our nation’s capital Saturday morning. It's part of the North Country Honor Flight; a chapter of the nationwide nonprofit group that sends veterans to D.C. to see their memorial for free.
“When you meet these heroes, when you understand our nation has ignored them for 68 years, we owe them everything,” said Danny Kaifetz, the Founder and Director of the North Country Honor Flight.
Kaifetz founded this chapter last year and since then more than 80 veterans from the North Country have had the chance to make the trip.
“Experiencing it on your own versus going with combat veterans from your era is a totally different experience. We’ve had a few veterans that have been and they told us I want to go with my band of brothers,” said Kaifetz. “It is one of the most moving things you'll ever see in your life”.
This is the first flight this year and seven more are scheduled. Kaifetz says these trips are entirely funded through private donations and fundraisers.
“This is the best possible way humanly to thank them,” said Kaifetz.
For these veterans and their families the morning began with a ceremony at the U.S. Oval in Plattsburgh. Then they enjoyed a motorcade ride to the airport and after few last remarks the veterans were on their way.
“I’m honored, honored to say the least. It’s very emotional,” said LeFevre.
“I appreciate the support, I really appreciate that people are becoming away that veterans are not going to be here very long. The forecast is in 6-7 years we will be all gone and it will be a memory to most people,” said DeMarco.
The Honor Flight is a one day - whirlwind tour. The veterans fly out in the morning and return the same day.
The next flight out of Plattsburgh is in June and there are two openings left for veterans who want to go.
For more information click here: North Country Honor Flight.