A grand welcome home celebration is being planned for the 64 veterans of military service traveling to Washington D.C. Saturday with Honor Flight Syracuse. The return ceremony will take place inside Hancock Airport as the veterans of World War II and Korea return on a charter flight after a day of touring memorials and monuments in our nation's capital.
The veterans arrived in Washington early this morning. Click on our Facebook Page link to see Matt Mulcahy's report on their arrival there. Matt will have updates through the day and a wrap-up on our evening news.
This week's government shutdown has forced Honor Flight organizers to stay on top of details of the trip to ensure access to key sites like the World War II Memorial. The National Park Service close the site to the public, but other Honor Guard Flights from cities across America have made their way past barricades during other visits this week.
The trip to D.C. includes touring Arlington National Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknowns and the Iwo Jima Monument. Donations and volunteers make it possible for the trip to be free of cost to aging veterans.
Family, friends and other organizations will welcome the veterans who will parade through the airport upon their return to Syracuse. Scottish bagpipes will set the town for remarks by government and military leaders.
The celebration is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm and last 30 minutes. Organizers say it's worth noting that the first Honor Flight Syracuse returned ahead of schedule due to the respect afforded the veterans during their departure from Reagan National Airport.
CNYCentral's Matt Mulcahy will be joining the Honor Flight Team and providing coverage via Twitter and Facebook throughout the day.