100 WW2 and Korea War Veterans flying from South Carolina to Washington DC to tour all of the war memorials. It didn't take long for me to say yes to this amazing opportunity. What an honor it was to be able to join in on the experience of these men and one woman from South Carolina who served our country. I knew it would be an intense experience full of emotion and it certainly didn't disappoint.
I haven't been to Washington DC since I was an 8th grader. I was fortunate to have been able to make that trip as I was this week to experience this one. We all met early in the morning to depart from the Columbia airport. Old friends and new ones spent the morning chatting and catching up while walking through the airport while people cheered and clapped for them.
As we arrived at the Washington DC airport, they were greeted with more cheers and hand shakes from strangers. It was hard to not get emotional at the welcome they received. Looking at their eyes, you know these men were touched by what they were seeing. The emotions ran strong all day long as they were again greeted with a parade of people in line to thank them for their service.
The day of touring, remembrance, and celebration ended with the grand finale of greeters back at the Columbia airport cheering, complete with a band, banners and what seemed to be the entire town of Columbia waiting to greet their arrival home. For some of them, it was the homecoming they never had. For me, it will be an experience I will never forget.
This memorial day, take the time to thank the men and women who have served this country so we are able to live a life of our choosing.
Here are some moments of the day.