On April 8th, 2013, 7 veterans from across the country, representative of all 3 major wars, had their wishes of a lifetime granted when they flew to Washington DC to see the memorials established in honor of their courageous service. The trip consisted of 4 WWII veterans, 2 Korean War veterans, and 3 Vietnam War veterans – one veteran served in all 3 wars. The group enjoyed 2 days in Washington DC where they toured the WWII, Korean and Vietnam Memorials as well as Arlington National Cemetery.
On Tuesday, April 9th, the group set out to start their trip at the WWII Memorial. Friends of the WWII Memorial, a local nonprofit, greeted them upon arrival. The group sat down with our WWII vets and conducted one-on-one interviews about their service. The veterans’ stories will be preserved by the Friends of the WWII Memorial and shared with future generations. After their conversations wrapped up, the group toured the Korean and Vietnam memorials before heading back to the hotel. On Wednesday, the group enjoyed a tour of Arlington National Cemetery, which included a stop at the Kennedy gravesites, the Arlington House, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier where they caught the changing of the guard. That evening, Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals hosted the group for their matchup with the Chicago Whitesox. The veterans were given seats just behind home plate and were recognized after the third inning during the National’s In-Game Salute.
Each veteran came back with fond memories. The beautiful memorials and the number of strangers that came up to shake their hands took most aback. For many, this was the only opportunity they will have to see the memorials created in their honor. It truly was a Wish of a Lifetime come true.