Honor Flights are organized flights full of aging veterans that travel to Washington, D.C., from all over the country. The flights are organized so that the veterans on them will get a chance to visit the memorials built in their honor.
These vets are welcomed warmly at public memorials around the city.
However, Honor Flight veterans who arrived at the WWII Memorial on Veterans Day were in for a surprise.
The lane into the memorial was lined with hundreds of people...
... many of them young students.
Waiting with banners.
And a full encore of military service men and women waiting to welcome them.
Even former Senator Bob Dole showed up.
So, when the bus of Honor Flight veterans pulled in...
...this is what they saw + very *LOUD CHEERS*
The first veteran down the cheering lane just looked overjoyed:
Others basked in the warm welcome:
Some looked shocked:
Others looked just beyond themselves, receiving gifts.
Lots of smiles as they strode through the cheering crowd:
Some seemed more solemn than others:
Some could only hear the applause and appreciation.
And others wanted to save every moment of the experience:
The procession lasted well into the memorial.
Once inside, the group was greeted by a spontaneous line of well-wishers, uniformed members of the military & tourists. The procession lasted over 45 minutes.
These veterans were thanked properly on Veterans Day.
And they loved it.
All uncredited images: IJ.com/Benny Johnson