WDAY Honor Flight Veterans visit Arlington National Cemetery
(WDAY)—90 local World War Two and Korean War veterans are in Washington DC right now being honored for their years of service and sacrifice.
The veterans here on the honor flight have seen the world, many serving through wars in several countries, but this trip, seeing monuments made in their honor, as well as these 400,000 grave sights at Arlington National Cemetery, is something many have waited a lifetime for.
As veterans stepped off the plane an overwhelming welcome greeted them at the gate and then again while leaving the airport, another surprise sea of red, white and blue.
Some families, some complete strangers, but all brought together by their respect for these brave men and women.
This never happened before, when we came home we just came home," said Leonard Frolek, Korean War Veteran.
For many veterans, like this former Army sergeant in the Korean War and Purple Heart recipient, Leonard Frolek of Lidgerwood, it's a long awaited and well deserved celebration.
"Some satisfaction for doing something that nobody really appreciated, I didn't think," said Leonard.
Making moments, all the more meaningful.
The veterans watch in silence, paying tribute to the country they worked so tirelessly to defend.
The 21 slow and steady steps from the guards, symbolizing the highest military honor of a 21 gun salute.
"It's a very meaningful ceremony," said Lloyd Gunderson, Korean War Veteran.
After the somber, a serious start to the trip; serious fun.
Lifelong friends, Lloyd Gunderson and Verne Wik grew up in rural Moorhead and both joined the military in the Korean War era.
Verne heading to Washington state, and Lloyd to D.C. making this somewhat of a homecoming.
Trying to be their own tour guides taking turns for who gets to take a load off.
The FDR memorial honoring the life of our 32nd president, turned into their comedic platform.
Making friends everywhere they can, and always coming back to humor, knowing that after going to War and fighting for our freedom they know every moment is precious.
These veterans have several more sites to see, including the Lincoln, Korean, Vietnam and World War Two memorials, plus national archives.
That's all part of this 36 hour whirlwind trip.