WASHINGTON — The U.S. Navy Memorial takes up a complete plaza alongside Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. It’s masts, waterfalls, and lone sailor statue have been devoted on October 13, 1987 – the 212th birthday of the U.S. Navy.
It stands as a testomony to the servicemen and ladies of America’s Navy – two of whom I spoke to during Midwest Honor Flight’s Mission 10 on June 1.
“It’s the bonding that’s going on, and the, you realize, talks which have been going on and the completely different experiences that everyone has shared,” says Jon Dykstra. “It’s simply completely superb.”
Dykstra, a Vietnam veteran from Hospers, Iowa, was overwhelmed with emotion standing on the Navy Memorial.
“The manner we’ve been acquired now, you realize, we have been child killers after we got here again, however now we’re acquired – and to see this with a bunch of veterans, it’s simply completely superb,” Dykstra provides. “It’s very emotional, and yeah, it’s simply laborious to elucidate.”
Veteran Thomas Secrest of Spearfish – holding a photograph from his time within the service – mentioned being on the memorial was a very emotional expertise.
“You can’t…you possibly can’t describe it,” says Secrest, who served within the U.S. Navy during Korea. “You can study, if you’ll, by means of historical past.”
For vets like Dykstra, being celebrated all day whereas touring with Midwest Honor Flight is vastly completely different from the final time they got here house.
“It’s laborious to grasp what it was like for those who weren’t there on the time, as a result of the reception for Iraq and Iran…it was fully completely different, you realize? Desert Storm, you realize?,” Dykstra says. “Most of the individuals after we got here again actually didn’t need us over there, they usually didn’t present any appreciation for us being there, and that’s how we acquired acquired, you realize? And now after we see it the best way it’s this morning, the place we cease and we’ve got individuals clapping and thanking us for our service…I’m glad I did it…I’m glad I did it.”
Midwest Honor Flight helped to offer some closure – and bonding – for our nation’s veterans.
Stay tuned all week on NewsCenter1 and ConnectCenter1 for in-depth tales from Midwest Honor Flight’s Mission 10!
Midwest Honor Flight is a hub of the Honor Flight Network. It’s a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) group that takes veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the memorials devoted to their service. The journey is supplied fully free-of-charge to the veterans.
CLICK HERE for extra data on Midwest Honor Flight, together with the way to apply for a visit and knowledge on donations.