In 2004, shortly after the national World War II Memorial was completed, Earl Morse, a retired Air Force captain working at the Department of Veterans Affairs clinic in Springfield, Ohio, realized that many of the veterans he knew would never get to see it.
So he persuaded pilots at his local flying club to ferry a handful of veterans to Washington on small planes, and accompany them to the National Mall.
Jeff Miller, who owns a dry cleaning company in Hendersonville, N.C., soon added chartered commercial jets to the impromptu enterprise.
From there blossomed an entire organization, known as the Honor Flight Network, which since 2005 has carried nearly a quarter-million veterans of World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars to Washington.
“Our mission is to transport our veterans to visit the memorials that are dedicated to honoring their sacrifice.”
From across the US, private planes and commercial airliners take veterans to the capital to see monuments dedicated to them. https://t.co/bcpJ0WnX5Y
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 11, 2019