ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Over 50 veterans returned home from a free two-day trip to see the war memorials in Washington D.C. It was paid for by not-for-profit Honor Flight Rochester.
Over the last eight years, Honor Flight Rochester has brought more than 2,300 veterans to Washington D.C. But still, this mission included some special moments for veterans and their families.
The three Bergeron brothers served together in the Korean War and now shared this Honor Flight experience.
“I’ve never seen anything like it," said Larry Bergeron. "I think it’s just great. When we came back when they declared the peace over there, there was no such thing as this. And this is many, many, many years later.
"So this is really something to think about it. It’s fantastic. It’s unbelievable. All those little kids out there with their flags.”
It is an opportunity for younger generations to learn about veterans’ sacrifices.
"In today’s day and age, with everything that’s going on, I think it’s important for them to honor and respect our military veterans who are here and who are no longer here," said attendee Deborah Warney. "Because America’s really a wonderful country, and I think we really need to respect that and prove our love for them.”
Those who attended say it is meaningful, regardless of military service.
“I never served in the military, but it’s our job to make sure that we’re honoring their sacrifices and the time they spent in the military to give us what we have here in America here today,” said attendee Mike Trippany.
And they say it is meaningful regardless of politics.
“When you look at the political climate with everyone’s going on today, people are so divided," said attendee Bulent Taskan. "This is one thing that everyone agrees on, right? The importance of these people, right? I don’t think there are any Democrats or Republicans or Independents here today, they’re all Americans. And that’s kind of the best part about it.”
This 51st honor flight was the last of 2016. They start up again in the spring.