Earlier this week, I took a trip to Baltimore to spend a little time at our Red Roof Inn Baltimore/Washington DC property. I was able to stay in Next Gen room equipped with a comfortable bed, hardwood-like flooring and convenient outlets. I was also able to spend some time with some awesome Red Roof Guest Service Representatives and see some of the city of Baltimore.
As much as I enjoyed my trip to Baltimore and my stay at Red Roof, the best part and a truly moving experience of the trip was while I was waiting for my flight back to Columbus. As I was walking to my gate, I heard over the speakers that at the my gate a “Honor Flight” would be arriving and if you could come welcome World War II veterans as they come to visit Washington DC to see the World War II memorial. I had never heard of an Honor Flight and was interested in seeing and learning what it was all about.
While waiting for my flight, I learned a little more about the organization from the volunteers. One of the volunteers handed me an American flag and I waited for the veterans to arrive. A larger crowd gathered, as the veterans started arriving everyone clapped and thanked them for all they had done. As I was standing waving my flag and clapping, tears filled my eyes, not because I was sad but because of how happy the veterans were to receive such a welcome. The experience was very moving.
Once I got home, I did some research on the organization. I learned the provide trips to World War II veterans to Washington DC to see the World War II memorial and some others including the Korean War Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, and the Tomb of the Unknown Solider at Arlington Cemetery. Along with seeing the memorials the veterans get some special treatment like I experienced. Honor Flight provides an awesome experience for us to show the veterans how appreciative we are of all they did during the war as well as a way for the veterans to reflect and be proud of what they did for our country.
I was born long after the World War II. Although I have studied the war in school and have seen plenty of popular movies and documentaries about the war also both of my grandfathers served in the military during World War II. I know I will never truly understand what my family members and all the World War II veterans went through and saw during that time. My mother’s father, Joe, passed away before I was born and my father’s father, Bob, passed away when I was fairly young. The only thing I really remembered talking to my Grandpa Bob about the war was him showing me a roll of dollar bills from all the places that he went to while he was in the war. I remembered I was being fascinated by the different colors and pictures on the dollar bills but I never heard about his experiences. Although, I was too young at the time I don’t think I would have understood. I have since learned that both of my grandfathers were in the Army during World War II. As I saw all the men getting off the plane, I couldn’t help but wish my grandfathers were able to experience the memorial.
Being in my early twenties, I feel like I am always moving and looking forward to what’s next. After witnessing the Honor Flight, it allowed me to take a moment and reflect on how thankful I am for what all the veterans and those currently serving in the armed forces have sacrificed for me to live in a free country.
I would like to say thank you to my Grandfathers Bob and Joe as well as Uncle Ward and Bob for their service to our country as well as all the military veterans and all those men and women currently serving in the armed forces!- Sarah