On August 27, the next mission of the Great River Honor Flight program will head to Washington DC. This is the 32nd mission overall since the program started back in 2010 and will bring the total number of local veterans who have flown to Washington DC for free to over 1,000.  This mission will include local veterans who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam. 

The trip will depart from Hannibal LaGrange University around 2 a.m. tomorrow, August 27. The 35 Veterans and their Guardians will travel by charter bus to St. Louis Lambert International Airport where they will board a flight to Baltimore and then on to our nation’s capital.

The first stop will be at the Vietnam and Korea War Memorials. This stop will also include visits to the nearby Lincoln Memorial. Next on their itinerary is a stop at the World War II Memorial, which sits next to the Washington Monument and where a group picture will be taken.

Other stops later that day include the Iwo Jima Memorial dedicated to that WWII battle and the Marines who fought there plus an emotional visit to Arlington National Cemetery. To commemorate crossing the 1,000th mark, veterans on this trip will take part in a special wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington.

The trip will end with a visit to the Air Force Memorial that overlooks the Pentagon and Washington DC where they will also enjoy dinner prior to returning to Reagan National for their trip home. The direct flight will take them back to St. Louis where they will board a bus for the trip to Hannibal.

The expected arrival time will be around 10:30 p.m. at Hannibal LaGrange’s Mabee Sports Complex. Of the 35 local Veterans traveling, 19 are from Missouri and the remaining 16 from Illinois. They represent Adams, Marion, Ralls, Lewis, Pike, Randolph, Henderson, Lincoln, Franklin, Clark, Monroe, Hancock and St. Louis Counties. Twenty-one Guardians will accompany them on their flight.