WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — For some veterans, it was a first trip to Washington, and the first time seeing monuments built in their honor.
“It has quite an impact on us, and it almost brings you to tears, ” said Korean War veteran Loren King.
The fought in different wars but share a sense of pride and gratitude.
When David Tampio and his fellow vets got home from Vietnam, they didn’t get a warm welcome like this.
“It was just something that Vietnam vets never got when they came home,” said Tampio.
Thankfully, that has changed. That sense of gratitude is was on display says Wisconsin Congressman Mike Gallagher.
“We’ve come so far since the days of the Vietnam war when veterans were spit upon when they came back, now everyone really just recognizes their service,” said Gallagher.
The Honor Flight veterans also happened to be at the memorial on the 18th anniversary of 9/11, giving their visit even more meaning.
“Well, I think particularly on 9/11 it’s a reminder that in order to keep our country safe, we’ve asked historically a lot of brave men and women to do dangerous work,” said Gallagher.
It was a busy day for the group, moving from one sacred spot to the next. They still found moments to slow down and reflect.
“You think of all the people who died in world war two, then it was the other wars after that and they’re still going on. Will it ever stop?” said World War II Veteran Ruth Seefeld.
It may not, but hopefully neither will the push to give veterans like these the thanks they’ve earned.