Without hesitation, I agreed to go on the Panhandle Honor Flight when asked if I wanted to go to D.C.
My Father was in the Navy, my Grandfathers' served in World War I in the Army and Calvary, and my Uncles and most of my cousins have served in the military as well. So, obviously, the military has been a part of my family on all sides.
Going to D.C. was an opportunity I wasn't going to miss. To accompany these veterans that kept Americans safe and our freedoms intact, I knew would be a once in a lifetime experience. And even if I am afforded the chance to go back again, I believe this will always stand out in my mind....and it did.
I watched these brave soldiers laugh and have a good time on the way out to D.C., and they started each morning with greetings and "Hellos" to Meredith and I. But once we got to the memorials, the mood changed to one of reflection and you could see in their eyes and the eyes of their husbands and wives...something that they could not put into words.
From the new World War II Memorial to the Vietnam Wall, we saw them all, and at each one, an eerie peace and somber feeling came over us...even those who never served. It was amazing and I'm not sure if the video Meredith and I shot or our stories can really do justice to the sacrifices these heroes made for all of us and the overpowering feeling we had at these memorials.
I appreciate so much being allowed to tag along on the Honor Flight and only hope the tributes we are paying these veterans is enough....but I fear it never will be. We owe them so much and I hope America never forgets them.
On Thursday, Veterns Day in our 10:00 newscast, we will begin airing our Honor Flight Series. For a look at the schedule, to read more about the series, or to find a list of Veterans Day events happening in our area this week click here to visit the Honor Flight Series webpage.