Tuesday, February 12, 2013

3 Niles Veterans Make Their Honor Flight 6/19/12

 World War II  Army Veterans,  Bill Shipp, Art Shapiro and Don Spitzer  flew from Midway on June 19, 2012 to Washington D.C. as guests of the Honor Flight Chicago program. 

Bill, Art and Don pictured above are participants in the Veterans History Project at the Niles Library.
Many other pictures are available from the online  album for the day
Mr. Spitzer filed the following report which the captured the highlights of a very special day.

 "My Honor Flight Chicago took place on June 19, 2012. My friend Art and I were picked up by a Navy vehicle with 2 Navy persons and a nurse. When we arrived at Midway Airport, we waited for a long time for processing; they served us donuts and coffee. I had a wheelchair and each Vet had a guidance person assigned, even those that did not use a wheelchair. There was a female trio, the Legacy Girls that were singing the Andrew sisters songs for entertainment. We took off at about 7 AM for a flight of about 1 1/2 hours. When we landed at Washington, DC airport, we were met by another guidance person assigned to each and I was pushed in a wheelchair to 3 buses, designated as red, white & blue buses, we were on the way to the WW2 memorial, they served sandwiches for lunch, we passed by the Arlington Cemetery on the way, finally reaching the memorial, & getting a wheelchair, which was carried on the bus, we were at the memorial for about 1 V* hours, we returned to the bus, which now took us to a choice of the Lincoln statue, the Vietnam memorial, or the Korean memorial, I opted for the Lincoln statue, there was time so we went to the Korean exhibit, then we returned to the bus & went to the Air & Space Museum, where I saw & took pictures of the Flying Tiger plane & the plane I trained in, the Stearman open cockpit biplane. There was a narrator for a group of 6 Vets. They then took us back to the Washington airport, where we were given another sandwich for dinner, at the airport, the flight home took about the same amount of time it took us from Midway to Washington.

On the plane we were given snacks & drinks, then they had a Mail Call, where each Vet was given a big envelope, that had letters from most of the gals at the Senior Center & my family & Scott & friends, we landed & the Fire Department gave us a shower of water over the plane & they all stood at attention saluti8ng us, when we reached Midway again, I was amazed, there where at least 2,000 people there for us, my entire family was also there, I really was emotional at that, we were wheeled in a wheelchair down into this crowd & I must have shaken at least 500 hands, there were bikers, girl scouts, boy scouts, & many people, old & young to greet us. The Navy fellows that had taken us to the airport were dismissed & my daughter & husband took me home, they also gave us a big bag of stuff & then what they said were cookies. When I opened it at home, there was an assortment of candies & Girl Scout cookies. What a greeting we got at Midway, I even signed my autograph for a few little girls, what a day.

When we were at the memorial, all the veterans there were sitting in chairs or wheelchairs & there were speeches & singing of the National Anthem & all services were represented with flags & held by uniformed army personnel, also a band performed all the services songs."

Mr. Spitzer receives a heroe's welcome at Midway Aipport upon his return.

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