Honor Flight: April 28,2018
Fourteen Honor Flights were in Washington, DC on this beautiful Spring and picture-perfect day! I first dropped by the WWII Memorial where I had the opportunity to show the new sample of the HONOR FLIGHT book to the "usual suspects" who are in the book. Honor Flight Syracuse was first in and they had a ceremnony with Honor Flight Maine.
In the end, I photographed both hubs separately and we managed a few nice images which I think will work both as a gifts and promotions for the veterans and hubs. This angle is my favorite as I believe it contains an enormous amount of symbolism.
Gunnery Sgt. Sara Sheffield sang beautifully for us and I am always astonished at her composure and grace. She's a recruiting poster!
At the Lincoln, Blue Ridge Honor Flight put together a new ceremony which worked out perfectly but was precarious as it was a first for me. I really like my control and these big events give me heartburn. I'd like to thank everyone involved for working with the photographers to keep the crowd at a respectful distance. And the crowd was as you can see very respectful and greeted the veterans after the ceremony.
Touring with an escort around DC reminds me what a beautiful city Washington, DC is. Our bus "guide" (Guild of Professional Tour Guides) reminded us that the use of police escorts was an honor bestowed on us by a grateful nation. And as we glided though really bad traffic on Constitution Avenue, I was feeling pretty grateful Honor Flights have become a familiar site in town and a few boy scouts saw us and assembled for a salute! Life is good aboard an Honor Flight!
Back at the WWII, we were greeted by students and tourists who seem to naturally assemble along the entrance way to the Memorial. The sloping walkways seem to be a gathering place for veterans and family eager to be photographed at their state column. Frequently families fly in to DC and surprise the veteran as he or she gets off the bus. These reunions are incredibly heartwarming. It's been reported and I have had it happen that veterans open up about their experiences during the Honor Flight. Sometimes the vetereans just hang out and enjoy each other. Honor Flight is a rich experience for both the veterans and the volunteers.
The afternoon at the WWII Memorial concluded with a wreath laying at the Wall of Stars with two elderly veterans: one who was the last survivor of the Bataan Death March and the other who was at Iwo Jima. Remarkable stuff and as always, I am moved and honored to be able to document these events. Living in Paradise!
I was amused today to witness both Earl and Jeff at the WWII Memorial having solemly "retired" at the Summit!
And I'd like to recognize some of the "USUAL SUSPECTS" here. A great group of people who leave life behind and create magic for our elderly veterans. Thanks!
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