State News

WWII veterans from N.C. visit Washington memorial

Posted October 20, 2009
Updated October 23, 2009

— More than 100 veterans from North Carolina traveled Tuesday to the nation's capital to visit the World War II memorial there.

David Crabtree talks with WWII veteran Veterans visit WWII memorial

Former U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole organized the trip in honor of her late brother, World War II veteran John Van Hanford Jr.

She was joined by 106 veterans for the flight from Charlotte. Some of them arrived in wheelchairs, others were using walkers. The majority had never seen the memorial dedicated to their service, which opened to the public on April 29, 2004.

The trip is part of the nonprofit Honor Flight Network, which has taken over 30,000 World War II veterans to visit the memorial in Washington. The memorial honors the 16 million who served in the U.S. armed forces, and the more than 400,000 who died.

When the group from North Carolina stepped off the plane in Washington, D.C., they were greeted by current and former military personnel. A band played and travelers stopped in their tracks to salute the veterans as they made their way through the crowd. 

Tears shone in the eyes of some as they comprehended the outpouring of support.

14 Comments

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  • Axtel Oct 20, 4:37 p.m.

    A heartfelt thank you to those who served and those who are serving. And the most deepest Thank You to the Heros and their Families who gave the ultimate sacrifice. You will not be forgotten.

    God bless You.

  • just my2cents Oct 20, 2:49 p.m.

    Any and every military service member, past and present (and future) are heroes. I have been to the Memorial, laid wreaths in Arlington, seen everything I could that honors our Veterans. I have many in my family and am honored to live in the USA.

  • Beach4Me Oct 20, 1:23 p.m.

    Thanks so much to all these wonderful veterans and the great impact they made on the world during WWII. Say what you will about war, there are people like these who put self second and country first. May God bless them all!

  • tootie Oct 20, 12:38 p.m.

    As soon as I heard they had one in Washington I went for my dad who served in WWII on a battleship in the Navy. It is an amazing memorial. All the names are listed in an electronic kiosk http://www.wwiimemorial.com/default.asp?page=registry.asp&subpage=search you can even add a loved one. I'm hoping to plan a trip to take him he would love it & deserves to see it. Thank you dad for your service and to all those that served then & do now. God Bless all of you!

  • Tin Nutt Oct 20, 12:38 p.m.

    Thank you to Elizabeth Dole for organizing this trip for the veterans. Their service to this country will not be forgotten - we and all future generations have a debt to those who served in WWII.

  • NC Reader Oct 20, 12:34 p.m.

    It is very poignant to see these men who saved the world as old, often frail human beings. They are such a reminder of the passing of time and of our limited years on Earth. Even when they cannot walk, shave, or even talk, however, they will look like young, strong heroes to me. Perhaps the tears that blur my eyes right now are responsible for that.

  • this is my Screen Name Oct 20, 12:32 p.m.

    I echo each and every word that has already been posted. My dad is a WWII vet. He wears his cap and it touches me when we are out and someone will come up and talk to him. He'll talk their ear off about his memories. Thanks to all that have given so much for their country.

  • UNCFarva Oct 20, 12:22 p.m.

    Great story, I think this is awesome. Such an important piece of American and World history.

  • 6079 SMITH W Oct 20, 11:52 a.m.

    Whenever I meet one of these WWII veterans, I always make sure to thank them for the great service they provided to our country. I have not yet once met a man or woman involved in that conflict that see themselves as heroes. They all say the same thing, we were just doing the job that had to be done as Americans. Take a few minutes of your time to thank them when you see them...They really did save the world!

  • Oxfordgirl Oct 20, 11:47 a.m.

    My grandfather was a WWII veteran but he died a few years back, I bet he would have loved to go! I hope they have a nice trip! They deserve it!

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