(Cleveland)- Veterans are in Washington DC today as part of Honor Flight Cleveland.

25, mostly World War II veterans, flew out this morning for an all-expense paid trip. The veterans are visiting the World War II memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the reflecting pool, the Air Force Memorial, the Marine Memorial-Iwo Jima and Arlington National Cemetery. Veterans will also witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns and get to lay a wreath at the tomb.

President Joe Benedict says this is a trip of a lifetime for veterans. While on these trips, stories have been shared, tears have been shed, new relationships have been forged, and lasting memories have been made. Veterans’ lives have been forever enriched by complete strangers who approach them throughout the excursion to express gratitude for the many freedoms we enjoy because of their sacrifices.

The first Honor Flight out of Cleveland took place in May 2007 from Hopkins International Airport to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Since then, the group has been making nine to ten flights every year. The trip is covered by private donations.

More than 2,300 U.S. veterans, the majority from World War II, have benefited from an Honor Flight Cleveland adventure. The service has been accomplished solely by volunteers, donating more than 53,000 hours to this important cause.

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