They stormed the beaches of Normandy, so it wasn’t likely some fencing barricades and signs that said “closed due to government shut down” were going to stop them.
This past weekend, World War II veterans from Nevada visited Washington DC as a part of the Honor Flight program, a travel experience that allows veterans to visit the World War II memorial at no cost to them.
Jon Yuspa, founder, Nevada Honor Flight: We had 40 veterans, 39 were World War II, one was Korea and Vietnam, he was there to accompany his World War II wife. We had four females. We have a young lady, she is 90-years-old, she turned 90 on Tuesday, a female Marine. She slept in the airport the night before so she wouldn’t miss her flight, that’s how important this was to her.
The way I looked at it, during the war they didn’t cancel Christmas, so we weren’t going to cancel this flight for anything. How do you tell a 90-year-old lady that’s sleeping in the airport that this trip is going to be cancelled? I told some of the government officials, ‘Well, you’re going to have to come here and tell her, because I’m not going to tell her.’ I joked with them that I don’t think that’s a good career advancement, being on TV arresting 40 World War II veterans.
Just to share the weekend with these great Americans and see them just light up. It’s the littlest things that make a difference. It’s the kids in the crowds coming up and shaking their hand and thanking them. It gives them a renewed hope. They just don’t think this youngest generation has gotten it and pays respect to our seniors, and to see little kids wanting to take pictures with these veterans – it gives them a hope that the kids get it. That they know what the past is, and hopefully won’t repeat it.