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SALT LAKE CITY — Seventy years ago, most of those who served in World War II never received any sort of welcome when they returned home.
Fifty World War II veterans from Utah returned to Salt Lake City late Saturday night from a trip to Washington, D.C., with the Utah Honor Flight. Friends, family and well-wishers lined the path at the Utah National Guard Readiness Center, cheering for each and every veteran as they exited the buses.
It was the final moment of excitement after a three-day whirlwind trip to see their memorial in our nation's capital. Many of the veterans said they were overwhelmed by the treatment they got.
"We had a lovely time," remarked one returning veteran.
"I'll tell you what," said another, "I can't tell you how thrilled we are to have all these people come here at this time of night."
The trip was the first of five Honor Flights scheduled for the fall of 2015, with an estimated 250 veterans scheduled to make the journey. The next flight is scheduled for this week.
These trips are 100 percent free for the veterans, and are only possible because of donations from the public. There are still about 200 veterans signed up and waiting to go. If you'd like to help, you can make a contribution at UtahHonorFlight.org.