WASHINGTON – The sun beat down on the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., but the crowds came anyway.
A particularly noticeable group, all wearing orange t-shirts, took in the magnificent memorial, and the sights of the city.
They’re members of the Honor Flight that came from Northwest Ohio.
“You hear about it, and you read about it, but you would never think that it would be this great,” said WWII veteran Charles Williams, who traveled with the group. “This is a wonderful monument.”
91-year-old Williams had never seen the WWII memorial – until Wednesday. And he brought his family members along for the tour.
But on this Honor Flight, the veterans got to do more than just see the sights. They met with a group of young people, who also came from Toledo.
“It’s amazing just to see all of the work that we have done so far this year actually culminate into one huge event,” said Daniel Ostberg, a senior at Maumee High School.
Ostberg, and many of his peers, were in DC this week being honored for their service work at the annual Jefferson Awards for Public Service. Part of that work, helped make this flight for these veterans possible. And seeing all that work pay off meant to world to the students.
“Just knowing that they’re getting the respect and privileges that they deserve after fighting for our county is what really matters,” said Nate Dusseau, a senior at Springfield High School.
And, Dusseau said, it means a lot to everyone in Toledo.
“It’s just a joy to our community and our schools and I’m happy to represent them here,” he said. “And I know back home, everyone is so happy that this paid off for everyone in our community.”
And for the veterans who got to visit the memorial on Wednesday, all the hard work by the local students meant a lot to them, too.
“It’s really great,” Williams said. “So many young folks got so many other things to do they don’t have time for this sort of thing, so this is real great to see them do that.”