First 2009 “Honor Flight” Lifts Off This Weekend

Airport Reception Slated for 55 WWII Veterans & their Guardians

Rochester, New York. The “Honor Flight,” which first formed in Rochester in 2008, lifts off its first whole airplane this weekend, flying 55 area WWII Veterans to visit the Memorial built in their honor on the Mall in Washington DC. Flying out early Saturday morning, 100 travelers will make up the first of several major flights slated for the 2009 travel year.

They return to the Greater Rochester International Airport on Sunday, May 3 at 2:15 pm to a large Welcome Home Celebration, the applause of friends and family, a military color guard as well as surprise speakers to honor members of Rochester’s “Greatest Generation.” The public is invited to join the celebration slated from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. On hand will be young area students who have sponsored great-grandparent heroes through school fund-raisers. Veterans will be available at the airport for interviews with local press.

The mission of Honor Flight is to fly America’s Veterans to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials built and dedicated to honor their sacrifices and service. The goal is to fly every Veteran who wants to go but who, for any variety of reasons, would not. Flights are free to WWII Veterans and those of any era who suffer a terminal illness. Local Rochester volunteers provide logistics and arrangements, with financing coming entirely from the local community. Last fall Rochester flew its first flight and prepared plans for now in 2009 to fly more than 300 local WWII Veterans who are currently registered to go.

Vince Hope of Honor Flight Rochester said, “These trips are all about soldiers going out shoulder to shoulder, sharing this experience, together with men, and women, who find common bond in the sacrifices they made 6 decades ago – when they were just kids.” He recently told a veteran audience, “You land home after just two days with these new, deeply bonded friendships, and all of you, 20 years younger.”

Come celebrate the very young “Greatest Generation.”

AirTran Flight #486 is scheduled to land Sunday at 2:15 pm on Concourse A with more than 100 Honor Flight travelers aboard. A continuing celebration is slated for the International Reception Room, on the lower level.

Mission 83 (59 vets)
May 25-26
Mission 84 (60 vets)
June 15-16
Unfortunately veterans cannot choose what flight they will travel on due to medical and logistic issues associated with the flight process. We also encourage veterans from the Syracuse and Buffalo area's to visit and register with their local Honor Flight hubs before registering with Rochester Honor Flight.