Honor Flight takes Ky. veterans to Washington on D-Day anniversary

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by Brooke Hasch

WHAS11.com

Posted on June 6, 2014 at 7:28 AM

Updated Friday, Jun 6 at 3:27 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS 11) -- They rose before the sun to mark a day many can recall like it was yesterday.

"D-Day was one of those things that was once in a lifetime, but you had to do it," James Reynolds, a WWII Army veteran, said.

"We flew four missions on D-Day, across the channel," Roy Morgan said.

These veterans have shared stories of casualties and war for 70 years.

Photos: 30 WWII, Korean War vets head to Washington on Honor Flight

"If you look around and see the faces of everyone, you know we're not going to be here much longer," Morgan laughed.

D-Day marked a turning point in World War II, if not the fate of the free world. On its 70th anniversary, it marked a milestone for the passengers on this Honor Flight Bluegrass.

"It gives you a chance to think about what actually happened," Reynolds said.

"It's something that you never forget. It's something to see all these men that were young, years and years ago," Lloyd Heller, a WWII Army veteran said.

"They say it's a wonderful trip," Bowman said.

Ford Motor Company paid for the trip to Washington D.C. There, close to 30 WWII and Korean War veterans and their families will visit the National World War II Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Iwo Jima Monument.

"You're going to have a big day," Congressman John Yarmuth said to a veteran.

"I know. I'm looking forward to it."

Yarmuth and Sen. Mitch McConnell met with each veteran before take-off, along with more than a dozen active military members.

"To see them and talk to them, is very uplifting. It motivates me and gives me pride in doing what I'm doing," Sgt. Shelia Pippen, from Fort Bliss, Texas said.

"For me, it's respect and recognition. For the veterans, themselves, they reflect on the memories and sacrifices and of course their own service," Stan Adler, the Honor Flight organizer said.

A day all about our veterans.

"It's a great feeling," James Haynes, a Korean War veteran said.

"You just thank the Lord you're alive and he looked over us. You just have honor, duty and country, that's the main thing," Col. Glenn Fischer, a WWII veteran said.

More than 16 million Americans fought in WWII. Today, only one million WWII veterans are living.

The veterans will return to Louisville this evening around to a reception at the Louisville International Airport at 9:30 p.m. The public is invited to welcome them home.

Follow @HFBluegrass to see photos they're taking in DC and updates for the honor flight.

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