WASHINGTON, D.C. — The first Utah Honor Flight of the spring landed in Washington, D.C., Thursday evening.
On board were 50 World War II veterans who will visit the nation's war memorials. The timing of this flight coincides with a major anniversary.
Friday is the 70th Anniversary of V-E Day, or victory in Europe marking the end of the war with the Nazis while fighting continued in the Pacific.
On Friday around noon, there will be a historic fly-over of the Lincoln Memorial by dozens of restored WWII aircraft.
The veterans can sense the kind of respect and admiration the American people feel for them.
Everybody in the busy airport stopped what he or she was doing to applaud the veterans and thank them for their service.
During the flight, they opened letters of thanks from their children, grandchildren and Utah school children.
For many of them, this is their first trip to the nation's capitol. For most, it will be their first visit to the World War II Memorial.
The generosity of Utah’s communities is funding this flight. Young students on the Wasatch Front raised more than $30,000, and the support keeps growing.
Some of these men were only 17 or 18 when they began their service. The others were in their early 20s.
Now they look back on that day with seven decades of perspective.