Monday, September 15, 2008

An Honor Flight

I love America.
I love American history.
I loved teaching American history.
I love visiting special places in America's history.
I don't know why. Maybe it is because I have had wonderful teachers who have taught me at school about our country. Maybe it is because I have seen first hand at the price people and families have had to pay for our country to be where we are today. Maybe it is because there is a pride in me that just wants to scream being the daughter of a retired Air Force pilot and the grandaughter of two WWII veterans. All 3 of these men were (and 2 still are) more than willing to tell stories of their days in service and I would/could sit for hours listening to them. For that reason, bear with me today, as I pay tribute to one of my favorite fellows, Papa Whittle (or J. Walker Whittle). My cousin, Jonathan, works for a company that sponsors the Honor Flight for WWII veterans. This company chooses veterans and then flies them to Washington D.C. for the day to see the different sites, but esp. to see the WWII memorial. Jonathan had put Papa's (or Pop) name in a while back to go on this flight. We received word right after Grandmama's death that Papa had been chosen for this flight. Some friends of ours took Papa to Alabama on Friday and he was able to spend Saturday in our nation's capital.
Jonathan said he had never seen anything like it. When they got to the airport, soldiers were waiting outside ready to receive these veterans. Each veteran (or two) had a guardian that stayed with them for the duration of the trip. A full medical staff went as well. Papa has never known a stranger and, as the pictures tell, he immediatly started to make friends.
Papa and a fellow veteran waiting to get on the plane.
On the plane ready to go
When they arrived in DC, the Army band met them at the airport.
Papa said it was one of the most moving things of the day.
Some of the helpers welcoming our heroes.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...