Land of Lincoln Honor Flight (LLHF) will take their fourth 2019 Honor Flight on Tuesday, August 20, departing from Springfield’s Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport honoring 93 American Veterans. On board LLHF Mission #57 to Washington DC, will be 5 World War II, 29 Korean War and 59 Vietnam War Era Veterans – all excited to visit and reflect with their comrades at their national memorials. These veterans represent all branches of military service: 19 Air Force, 43 Army, 8 Marine, 22 Navy and 1 Coast Guard.
Ninety-three veterans and their guardians will arrive at the airport August 20 at 4:15 a.m., having traveled from the 52 central and southern Illinois cities and communities of Altamont, Assumption, Atlanta, Auburn, Bloomington, Breese, Bunker Hill, Cerro Gordo, Champaign, Charleston, Chatham, Collinsville, Cornland, Cowden, Danville, Decatur, Delavan, Effingham, Elkhart, Elmhurst, Forsyth, Gilman, Godfrey, Grafton, Hettick, Jacksonville, LaSalle, Lincoln, Litchfield, Maroa, Mattoon, Meredosia, Mt. Zion, Murrayville, Newton, Normal, Petersburg, Rantoul, Red Bud, Riverton, Shelbyville, Sherman, Sparta, Springfield, St. Joseph, Taylorville, Tilton, Troy, Urbana, Utica, Waverly and Willow Hill. The veterans will board luxury motor coaches upon arrival at Ronald Reagan National Airport in DC.
Their most important stops will be at the World War II, Korean and Vietnam War memorials, as well as Arlington National Cemetery for the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Other stops include the Lincoln Memorial, the National Air & Space Museum (Chantilly, Virginia), the US Marine Corps Memorial and the US Air Force Memorial. This day of honor is provided at absolutely no cost to the veterans. They have paid enough; it is our turn to pay them back. The return to Springfield airport is planned at 9:30 p.m. and the general public, along with friends and family, are encouraged to “pack the ‘port” to welcome home these heroes. All are encouraged to wear patriotic colors, bring chairs, balloons, posters, etc. to show appreciation and support to these veterans who serve and sacrificed so much for our country.
Words of thanks, handshakes and hugs are also encouraged. Veteran applications continue to be accepted with flight priority given in the following order: World War II (enlisted by 12/31/1946), then Korean War Era (01/01/1947 to 12/31/1957), followed by the Vietnam War Era (01/01/1958 to 05/07/1975). Any certified terminally ill veteran should contact LLHF directly. Veterans of Guardian applications may be obtained at www.LandofLincolnHonorFlight.org by clicking on Applications tab. LLHF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that receives no government funding. It is only able to honor the veteran with a trip to DC due to the generous donations, sponsorships, fundraising event, merchandise sales and supporting efforts of the many local businesses, individuals and organizations within the service area. Land of Lincoln Honor Flight has no paid staff, no office and no utilities costs. LLHF’s on-going administrative cost is approximately one percent – virtually every dollar raised supports flight costs for the veterans. Since inception in 2009, LLHF has been privileged to serve 4,361 Illinois veterans on 56 flights. Follow LLHF on Facebook to stay current on upcoming events and view their travels on flight day.