COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Just before sunrise Saturday, more than 90 veterans from the central Ohio area boarded a plane on their way to Washington D.C. as part of Honor Flight Columbus.

They joined hundreds of other veterans from around the country to visit memorials meant to honor them and those they fought alongside.

With stops at Arlington Cemetery, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Women’s, Vietnam, Korean and WWII memorials, the veterans were able to pay their respects to their fallen brothers and sisters, but to also receive the appreciation they’ve earned.

Along the way there were hugs, some kisses, but it was mostly “Thank you” repeated over and over again from strangers with a hearty handshake.

“It meant a great deal to me,” said Vietnam veteran Wayne Wright. “It just brings back a lot of memories good and bad, but a special day for me.”

This sentiment was echoed by fellow veteran Don Hobbs, who served in Korea and Germany.

“It’s hard not to cry,” he said. “I think it’s the most wonderful thing in the world for a soldier be able to come here and see what they’ve been honored by putting up these memorials.”

Some shed tears, some shared laughs, but all shared a sense of appreciation from our nation’s capital.