NORTH CANTON, Ohio — It began five years ago to honor local military veterans and their sacrifices to the country.
Saturday, nearly 500 World War II veterans celebrated a victory for the Akron Canton Airport’s Honor Flight program, which has allowed all of them to see their memorial in Washington, D.C.
They gathered at the MAPS Museum in North Canton for an Honor Flight party.
The Honor Flight program began at the airport in 2008. It offered local veterans a free flight and escorts to the military monuments in Washington, D.C.
The program ended with a flight in September; organizers said their goal number of veterans have been able to take advantage of the trips.
The program reached nearly 1,100 veterans who otherwise had no other way of ever visiting their memorials.
“The program is that these veterans have waited over 60 years to have a memorial to recognize not just their service, but the sacrifice of their friends who never made it home,” said Earl Morse, Honor Flight founder. “They deserve to see this, and after everything they’ve done, to get them to their memorial is the least we can do.”
The national Honor Flight program has flown 100,000 veterans from airports across the country to the monuments in Washington, D.C.