ST. CLOUD -- Family, friends, and fellow Veterans gathered at VFW Post 428 to welcome home a group of Veterans coming back from Washington D.C. as part of the Honor Flight program.

In its nine trips, the Honor Flight has taken over 650 Veterans to the nation's capital in order to give them a chance to see the memorials that honor them.

"About 75 percent of the World War II Veterans have never been to Washington before," says John Pearson, Director of the Honor Flight program. "So we've tried to give them the experience of thanking them for what they've done to make this country a free country."

Pearson, a Veteran himself, says the trip is also made to honor the soldiers who never made it home.

"We [also] want to remember those people who did give the ultimate sacrifice," Pearson says. "The people that did not return are the ones that we have to call heroes."

The most recent two-day trip to Washington D.C. could be the last Honor Flight, as Pearson says almost 1,000 WWII Veterans pass away each year.

 

Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON
Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON
Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON
Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON